2012 PIRG Toy Safety Report for Christmas Toys
Toy cars with parts so small a child could choke on them, a plastic "robot" with excessive lead levels, and a play car horn that's so loud it could damage a child's hearing are just some of the dangerous playthings on this year's Trouble in Toyland report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
These types of toys are still being sold in stores across the United States and parents need to be vigilant while doing their holiday shopping, according to the 27th annual report.
For their report, PIRG staffers bought toys off store shelves and tested them for lead, cadmium and phthalates, all of which have been shown to pose a serious threat to the health of young children.
The researchers found toys that contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead levels above the limit of 100 parts per million. They also found toys that exceed recommended noise standards and are potentially harmful to children's hearing.
Despite a ban on small parts for children under age 3, the researchers also found toys that still pose choking hazards.
Other tips released by the PIRG include:
- Do not buy small toys or toys with small parts for children under age 3. If a toy or part of a toy can pass through a toilet paper tube, don't buy it for a child under age 3, or any child who still puts things in his/her mouth.
- New, powerful small magnet parts used in toys look like candy. If a child swallows more than one magnet, the magnets can attract each other in the body and cause life-threatening complications. If a child swallows even one magnet, seek immediate medical attention.
- If a toy seems too loud for your ears, it is probably too loud for a child. Take the batteries out of loud toys or cover the speakers with tape.
- Accessorize your kids with protective gear when using toys such as bicycles, scooters, skateboards and inline skates.
Always remember to stay informed of recalls. The CPSC recalls numerous toys and children's products each year. Check www.recalls.gov for an archive of old recalls and to sign up to receive email alerts of new recalls.