New Report Highlights Potentially Dangerous Toys: Be Aware of Possible Hazards

Anyone whose holiday shopping list includes toys for children should be on the alert for potential hazards. The annual Trouble in Toyland report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) highlights some common hazards and warns consumers to be on the lookout for dangerous substances and products.

Some items on the Trouble in Toyland report contain toxic levels of: 

  • lead;
  • phthalates;
  • cadmium; and
  • antimony.

For instance, the Marvel Super Hero Squad Soft Shield – recommended for ages two and up – contains 29 times the legal limit of lead. This can be harmful to all children but especially very young ones.

Some of the health risks associated with lead include: 

  • anemia;
  • developmental delays; and
  • kidney problems.

High levels of phthalates and cadmium were found in a Ninja Turtles Pencil Case. Phthalates have been banned in toys, but continue to be found in some school supplies. Cadmium is a toxic heavy metal that could result in kidney problems and learning disabilities.

PIRG also found high levels of antimony in a Lamaze infant play mat. 

Antimony, a toxic metal, can cause irrigation to the: 

  • skin;
  • eyes; and
  • lungs, as well as other unhealthy effects.

Toxins aren’t the only issue affecting toys on the shelves. The report found some toys may be harmful to a child’s hearing.

The following exceed allowable decibel levels for children: 

  • Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote;
  • LeapFrog Lil’ Phone Pal; and
  • LeapFrog Chat & Count Smart Phone. 

Other dangerous toys include those for children under the age of three that contain small parts posing a choking risk. And small, powerful magnets that can cause internal damage if swallowed were also detailed in the report.

With all of these potential dangers, the best thing parents can do is carefully examine toys before purchasing and/or allowing children to play with them. 

Parents should routinely read: 

  • age recommendations;
  • warnings;
  • labels; and
  • instructions.

In the event of an accident or if the child develops health defects as a result of a toy, parents can talk to Gacovino, Lake & Associates to review possible legal options. Call 800-550-0000.

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