Increased testing has made toys safer this Christmas than last year, says both government regulators and toy experts. Only 74 toys have been recalled this year, all related to elevated lead levels. Lead is especially harmful to a child’s developing brain. Effects include reduced IQ, shorter attention span and learning disabilities. In response to last year’s toy tragedy federal rules mandate that surface lead, must drop below 90 parts per million by August 2009. It should be noted that this standard takes effect after this year’s holiday season. Since major toy companies and stores are not waiting for the deadline, the Consumer Product Safety Commission urges particular caution for toys bought secondhand or from independent online sellers. Buyers should ensure that they are not buying recalled products or toys that do not meet current or pending standards. Some recalled toys this year include 57,000 Rage Wireless Guitars for Nintendo’s Wii game system and 330,000 Nerf Blasters. The guitars were recalled after leaky batteries caused chemical burns and the blasters after 46 reports of kids getting pinched in the face, neck or chest. To read the full story, click here.