The Union Recorder

Local News

December 13, 2013

Be wary of toy dangers

MILLEDGEVILLE —

Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves, according to U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s 28th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report released in November.  

The survey of hazardous toys found that despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping for youngsters this holiday season.

“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 Jenny Levin, U.S. PIRG Public Health Advocate.

Researchers visited numerous national toy stores, malls and dollar stores in September, October and November to identify potentially dangerous toys. The investigation focused on toys that posed a potential toxic, choking, strangulation or noise hazard.

Key findings from the report include:

• Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. The Captain America Soft Shield for ages 2 and up tests out with 29 times the legal limit of lead;

• Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under 3, the report found toys on sell that still pose choking hazards;

• Some toys are potentially harmful to children’s ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders. The third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that one in five U.S. children would have some degree of hearing loss by the time they reach age 12. This may be in part due to many children using toys and other children’s products such as music players that emit loud sounds;

• Small powerful magnets pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed. Dr. Sarah Mack, the Medical Director of the Emergency Department at the Oconee Regional Medical Center, also said swallowing multiple magnets can cause bowel obstruction;

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