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Trouble In Toyland – Holiday Toy Warnings

4 Toys That May Pose Toxic Hazards

 By Al Sunshine, SouthFloridaReporter.com, Consumer Investigator, Nov. 25, 2015 – “Trouble in Toyland”: The latest Holiday Toy Warnings just came out, and as usual, there’s plenty of potential hazards still on the shelves this holiday season.

Parents need to make sure toys are appropriate for the ages of kids in the house. Some may be fine for older kids, but turn into potential killers for smaller children.

Also, their use needs to be supervised closely by adults.  Children need to know NOT to put them in their mouths or try chewing/eating them. Having children washing their hands after playing with holiday presents before eating anything is also a very good strategy.

Most toymakers insist their products meet all U-S Safety Standards. Critics say there’s still lax enforcement and many US Consumer Safety Laws are still being ignored.

Faith Based Events

It all means parents need to be careful whether they’re buying toys for their kids…or getting them as presents for other children

Per PIRG (Public Interest Research Group):

Key findings from the report include:

“Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. We had chemical testing done at a lab which is accredited by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

We found the Fun Bubbles jump rope from Dollar Tree which had 10 times the legal limit of the banned phthalate DEHP (tested at 10,000 ppm), and also had 190,000 ppm of the toxic phthalate DIBP which has not yet been banned. However, the CPSC has proposed a rule which has not been finalized that would add DIBP to the list of banned phthalates.

In preliminary tests, we also found high levels of the heavy metal chromium in three toys. The high content of chromium in the products we found doesn’t necessarily mean that they violate the law. We believe it is a cause for concern, and we call on the CPSC to do further testing.

Positively, while the CPSC has recalled some toys for lead violations this year, our tests did not find any. We believe this is a sign of progress, but this does not mean that lead cannot be found in other toys.

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 found a fairy wand from Dollar Tree that has small parts that easily break off, but was not labeled as a choking hazard.

We found inadequate warning labels in the Disney Pixar Cars Riplash Racers and Disney Planes from Marshalls, G2 Air Mini Football and a Disney Finding Nemo Dory figurine from Five Below, and a Nickelodeon Mermaid Dora the Explorer from Target. These products may have labels suitable for foreign countries, but they were not sufficient to meet U.S. standards.

Small balls pose a hazard for young children who are inclined to put objects in or near their mouths. We found Magic Towels packaged as a small baseball and a small football at Dollar Tree which did not have the appropriate small ball warning label.

Balloons pose the most serious choking hazard to children in the U.S. All of the balloon packages we found did include the required warning label reading that children under eight can choke on balloons and balloon parts. However, we found three balloon sets from Party City which included a second, confusing label indicating that the products are for children ages three and older: the Balloon Animal Kit, Mega Value Pack 16 Latex Punch Balloons, and Mega Value Pack 12 Water Bomb Packs.

We also found toys that are potentially harmful to children’s hearing. We found the Vtech Go! Go! Smart Wheels, Vtech Go! Go! Smart Animals, Vtech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight, Fisher Price Click n Learn Remote, and Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set from Target that, while they don’t violate federal standards, were found to be extremely loud at the ear and at a distance.

We continue to find small, powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed. We found Sizzlers noise magnets from Family Dollar, and Singing magnets from Dollar Tree that are “near-small-parts” which, while they don’t violate federal standards, are small enough to be swallowed and can cause severe internal damage.”

 

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PIRG list of 22 potentially hazardous toys HERE

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Al Sunshine is a South Florida-based Broadcast and Digital Journalist whose career has spanned more than 40 years at the local and national levels. His award-winning investigations have triggered more than a dozen state and local consumer protection laws and his work’s been cited in Congressional Testimony before the U-S House of Representatives. He is best known for his “Shame On You” features for CBS Miami which sought to expose businesses, agencies and individuals defrauding or deceiving consumers, as well as endangering the safety and welfare of the general public. In 2013 Al retired from CBS Miami to set up his own Digital News Business, “Sunshine News, LLC” and Al continues to blog for the Radio, Television, Digital News Association, sponsors of the prestigious Edward R. Murrow Awards”. An avid environmentalist, Al is one of the founding members of the “Miami Pine Rocklands Coalition”. The Florida Non-Profit is fighting to save and restore the last 2% of Pine Rocklands found only in South Florida and nowhere else in the continental United States. Al was recently elected its President.