Hazardous toys to avoid this holiday season

Yolanda Curtis
November 22, 2017

The New York Public Interest Research Group released a new list of potentially unsafe and toxic toys.

The report found potential choking hazards and 2 products with concentrations of lead exceeding federal standards.

Among the toys surveyed this year, the group found several toys that could be choking hazards and some toys with lead amounts that exceed federal stands.

The report exposes fidget spinners, inadequately-labeled toys and balloons, and data collecting toys that violates children's privacy and other consumer protection laws. One spinner tested at 300 times over the legal limit.

In a victory for consumers, the CPSC in October issued a final rule prohibiting children's toys and childcare articles containing more than 1,000 ppm of five additional phthalate chemicals (DINP, DPENP, DHEXP, DCHP, and DIBP).

Some toys that are considered a choking hazard include a "Peg Game", "Football" and "Golf" travel game sets - all of which contain very small pieces. However, the group said none of the products include a choke hazard warning. In typical fashion, PIRG has resorted to simply listing recalled toys because they couldn't find safety violations among the toys that are on the market.

They say parents should also be mindful of dolls, video games, and other toys that have microphones.

"Even small amounts of lead in toys can be ingested when transferred from fingers to mouth or from fingers to food", a national lead expert, Dr. Helen Binns, a pediatrician at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and professor of pediatrics at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said in the statement.

A second popular toy, the My Friend Cayla doll, was on display Tuesday as a potential risk for cyber security.

"If a teenager starts chewing on that toy, ingests lead, lead is harmful for young kids, for teenagers and for adults", said Czinn.

Recalls are very rare - typically, only 0.003 percent of the three billion toys sold each year in the USA are recalled. The report shows two models of fidget spinners that contained excessive levels of lead. The Toy Association educates parents about choosing age-appropriate toys, and encourages parents to read all instructions and safety warnings on toy packaging and supervise their children at play.

It also included a number of toys that have already been recalled over the previous year. "For more information, families are invited to visit www.PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association's website for parents and caregivers".

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