Tag Archives: unsafe toys

Dangerous Toys of 2012

If you have been wondering about the safety of children’s toys on the market this holiday season and whether certain toys are safer than others, there is an organization which has done some of the homework for you. The consumer watchdog, U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), has examined the array of toys for sale this season, and is pleased to note that “toys today are safer than they’ve ever been before, [but] there are still dangerous and/or toxic toys on store shelves.” http://shine.yahoo.com/parenting/most-dangerous-toys-2012-173200226.htm.

The group’s “Trouble in Toyland” report reviewed 200 toys purchased at toy retailers, such as Toys R Us and Target and dollar-type stores. The report issued shortly before Thanksgiving noted that there weren’t as many toxic toys on the shelves as expected. Nasima Hossain, a public health advocate with PIRG recommends parents still watch for common hazards in toys when toy shopping. Common hazards in toys can be:

  • Toys that contain sharps–anything that could cut, puncture or stick a child;
  • Toys with small detachable parts that could pose a choking hazard;
  • Toys that contain toxic chemicals, such as lead or phthalate levels higher than allowable limits;
  • Toys that require heat or electricity and could pose a fire/burn hazard;
  • Toys that explode or implode, or smoke–again, watch for a fire or inhalation hazards;
  • Toys that shoot projectiles, such as the “Dart Zone Quick Fire 12 dart gun” which was identified as having a potential to produce eye injuries;
  • Toys that could become unsafe for young children that might be safer for older children;
  • Toys that contain high-powered magnets, sold as “Bucky Balls” or toys that contain button batteries that can be swallowed;
  • Water absorbing toys that can expand if ingested, such as the Water Balz toys by Dunecraft (94,700 of these were recalled yesterday by the CPSC);
  • Toys or child furniture that are flimsy or that appear not to be well put-together (and may collapse on a child, such as the toy wooden puppet stages recalled during the year); and
  • Toys that are too loud and can be harmful to children’s ears because they exceed the current noise standards.

The PIRG identified specific toys as containing hazards, including the Dora Backpack, by Global Design Concepts Inc., for its apparently high phthalate levels, and the Dora Tunes Guitar for its excessive loudness. Another toy, “Snake Eggs” made by GreenBrier International Inc. was found to be an ingestion hazard, and the Morphbot toy, also by GreenBrier, was identified as having high lead levels. The “Just Like Home 120-piece Super Play Food Sets” sold by Toys R Us, were identified as containing choking hazards for small children, as were the “Pullback Dragster Cars by Z Wind Ups” found to have choking hazards and warning labels too small to be easily read.

ChildSafetyBlog.org wishes you a safe and healthy holiday season!

Recognizing Troubling Toys for Tots!

The day after Thanksgiving is well known as the biggest holiday shopping day of the year!  It’s a day when extreme sales are offered shoppers, some beginning in the wee hours of the morning!  Childsafetyblog.org has learned that there are some troubling toys on the shelves and wants to alert you to the ones we already know about and make sure you know what to look for in safety features for your children’s toys.

As you and your family members shop for children’s toys, we hope you will evaluate the toys being marketed for children’s use carefully, purchasing only the toys which are prescribed for your children’s ages and skill levels–there are reasons some toys are designated for 5-year-olds and not for those under 3; many of those reasons are for children’s safety.

It is important for parents and those purchasing children’s toys to note whether a toy has any detachable part that could be swallowed, whether it is sharp or makes noises which are too loud, whether it functions as it should, whether it has inflatable balls or beads, contains lead paint or cadmium or antimony–all of these things have become important watch words to child safety in recent days.  If there are loose parts, hinges or seats, as in the case of some cribs, strollers, and high chairs, parents need to refrain from purchasing the childhood furniture.  Parents need to use their best judgment when purchasing toys for use by children.

Here are only a few toys listed on the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (http://www.uspirg.org ) website as having been recalled in the past year due to safety factors–Parents can also check http://www.cpsc.gov for toys which have been recalled:  Any manufacturer’s) Children’s sweatshirts with hoods with drawstrings (strangulation hazard);

“Action Team” Toy Dart Gun set (choking hazard);

“Best Friends” Charm Bracelet Sets (high levels of cadmium, made in China);

“Big Rex and Friends” Cloth Books (high level of lead in the red dot in the book, imported from China);

“Fly Dragonfly” Remote Control Helicopters (Fire hazard–the battery in the helicopter can overheat, posing fire and burn hazards to a child; made in China for ImagineNation Books);

High Speed “Pull Back” Toy Cars (high level of lead in the paint on the toy; made in China imported to the U.S.);

2011 Model Year Giant Bicycles (the frame can crack at the union of the seat post and top tube posing a fall hazard to riders; made in Taiwan)

Allreds Design Baby Bracelets and Pacifier Clips (high levels of lead; made in Utah, U.S.A.)

There are more toys on the US PIRG list–and there is an entire report released November 23, 2010, the 25th Annual “Trouble in Toyland” Report in PDF format which can be downloaded and read by parents and those purchasing children’s toys this holiday season.

CNN’s T.J. Holmes also noted today that two children’s toys specifically were cited by the U.S. PIRG as “troubling” and they include the Dora, The Explorer™ Backpack and the Fisher-Price “Let’s Get Building” toy.  There are a variety of factors that parents should check about most toys on the market.  Noting where a toy was manufactured lately seems to have a bearing on its probable safe use by children. The United States’ standards are high when it comes to kids’ toys. And parents can report unsafe toys to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to help to keep the U.S. toy manufacturers’ standards high.  Visit http://www.cpsc.gov to view recalled toys and learn how to report an unsafe toy.

If you, as a parent or caregiver, don’t think it looks safe for a child to use, it probably isn’t.  But even when you think it is safe, it’s best to check the toy thoroughly and monitor the child’s use of the toy if you do purchase it.