Survey Finds Dangerous Toys on Store Shelves

Shopping Tips Can Help Parents Shop Safe

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to the Oregon State Public Interest Research Group (OSPIRG)’s 29th annual  Trouble in Toyland report.

Key findings from the report, which included laboratory testing for toxic substances, include:

Toys with high levels of toxic substances – such as lead and phthalates – are still on store shelves.

Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under the age of three, we found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards. We also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s ears and hearing. We continued to find small, powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.

“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said OSPIRG Campaign Organizer Alice Morrison.

“The holidays are a joyful time for children and their families. Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel is committed to child safety and recommends that families are aware of the toys that their children play with and the potential harm that could cause them. Toddlers and young children are particularly prone to swallowing small toys, button batteries and magnets that can potentially cause serious harm,” Mark Buchholz, M.D., pediatric critical care and emergency medicine physician at Randall Children’s Hospital at Legacy Emanuel.

Over the past six years, stronger federal rules have helped get some of the most dangerous toys and children’s products off the market including lead and phthalate-laced toys, and small, powerful toy magnet sets. However, not all toys comply with the law, and holes in the toy safety net remain.

“OSPIRG’s toy safety guidelines are an important resource for adults as we head into the holiday season,” said Oregon State Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer, “I urge the public to download the Guide and keep it handy on their mobile phones.”

Links:

Full Trouble in Toyland report

Quick list of unsafe toys and tips for toy shopping

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