Dangerous Toys on the Christmas Store Shelves

U.S. PIRG Education Fund plays with hundreds of toys every year just so you don't have to! The group has issued its annual Trouble in Toyland report and found way too many unsafe toys on the shelves.

Some of the problems founds include:

--Toys with high levels of toxic substances can still be found.  For example, preliminary testing showed three toys with unsafe levels of chromium: Minions pencil case, Slinky Jr., and magnetic numbers.

--Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under the age of three, the group found several toys that contain or may break into small parts that either do not have the correct U.S. statutory warning label or no warning label at all.

--Balloon sets marketed to children under the age of eight.  Balloons are responsible for more choking deaths among children than any other toy or children's product.

--Small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to chldren if swallowed.  For example, Sizzlers noise magnets from Family Dollar and Singing magnets from Dollar Tree are "near-small-parts", which are small enough to be swallowed and can cause severe internal damage.

--Toys that are potentially harmful to chidlren's hearing.  The group found five toys marketed to children under three years that are estimated to be either at or slightly above the decibel standards recommended for close-to-the-ear-toys: Vtech Go!Go! Smart Wheels, Vtech Go!Go! Smart Animal, Vtech Spin & Learn Color Flashlight, Fisher Price Click n Learn Remote and Leap Frog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Letter Set.

Examine toys carefully for hazards before purchase --and don't just trust that they are safe just because they are on a store shelf.  Take the U.S. PIRG Ed Fund's Toy Safety Tips with you while you're shopping. You can find that at www.toysafetytips.org. 

If you identify any unsafety toys, go to www.saferproducts.gov to report the potential safety problem to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

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