Consumer Safety Group Compiles Annual Dangerous Toys List
Child safety groups and advocates say they have witnessed progress in recent years regarding the manufacturing of safer toys for children, but they warn that there are still some products that parents should keep an eye out for.
Illinois consumer group PIRG has released it’s list of potentially harmful and dangerous toys for it’s 29th year in a row.
The list contains different potential dangers and hazards in children’s toys. Some toys on the risks on the list include toys that are too loud and pose a threat to damaging hearing, toys small enough to cause choking, toys made with toxic materials, and even small magnets that could be dangerous if accidentally swallowed.
Dr. Elizabeth Powell, a pediatrician working in emergency at the Lurie Children’s Hospital spoke regarding magnets, “It’s not a big deal in the stomach, but as they rotate through the intestines, if you get magnet one here, and magnet two over here, and they come together, they can cause an obstruction, which can make a child very sick,” she reported. Meaning a magnet swallowed by a child could start interacting with other magnets of the opposite pole in their surroundings.
Lisa Madigan, the Illinois Attorney General advises that parents check out the resources available to them in addition to paying close attention when buying toys for their kids, as well as toys for the children of relatives or friends.
“You see something that’s cute, and you want to buy it, but when you look, and it says you shouldn’t be purchasing this for somebody under the age of 3,” she said. “When you have somebody like that in your home, you need to put the cute toy back on the shelf, and walk away, and find another cute toy.”
The Dollar Tree, known for it’s affordable merchandise responded to the list saying, “Consumer safety, especially relating to children, is a primary consideration regarding products we purchase from our suppliers.”
Dollar Tree went on to say, “Our Company invests in a significant amount of independent testing to ensure vendor products meet all safety and legal standards. On December 1, we learned of a report indicating that several of our vendors’ products may not meet those standards. We are in the process of reviewing the identified products and our compliance testing results, and are actively working with our suppliers to ensure their products, sold by our Company, meet all applicable safety and legal standards.”
Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores also responded to the list because it includes a Hello Kitty Bracelet & Hair Clip Accessory Set made by Jo-Ann. The report stated the plastic covering on the hair clips contained more than five times the acceptable amount of phthalates, a chemical that has been known to interfere with early puberty and the reproductive system in males. Jo-Ann quickly pulled the product from shelves, offered refunds, and issued a formal email response.
Jo-Ann’s email said, “The safety of our customers is our number one concern. Immediately upon learning of this issue, we took the necessary steps to remove the product from our stores. Customers can return the product to their local Jo-Ann store to receive a refund.”
Be sure to read the list before shopping this Holiday season, but the most powerful tool is taking a moment to think clearly with common sense.