Trouble In Toyland Warnings for Holiday Shoppers

By Steve Jackson

Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the Washington State Public Interest Research Group, or WashPIRG, has released it’s annual “Trouble in Toyland” report. In the 28th annual report, the group says consumers still need to be cautious when purchasing toys for young children, as some pose a safety hazard.

WashPIRG spokesperson Tonina Bellante outlines some the key findings of the report. She says “four hazards that Washington researchers found in the past few months were toxic hazards, choking hazards, powerful magnetic toys, and excessively noisy toys that can cause hearing loss in children."

Some examples include an infant play mat with high levels of the toxic metal antimony, and play jewelry with high lead levels. Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under age 3, researchers found toys in Washington stores that still pose a choking hazard.

Bellante says a good standard is that that anything small enough to pass through the inside of a toilet paper tube could pose a hazard to a small child. Bellante says the magnet toys can pose a real hazard. “The new toys that are made with extremely small magnets, and can cause severe internal damage if more than one is swallowed," says Bellante. According to research she found from CPSC, she says "between 2009 and 2011, there were 1,700 cases nationwide of children swallowing these high powered magnets.”

There is a list of some of the dangerous toys available on the research group's website.
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