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Annual 'Trouble in Toyland' Report Cites Toy Dangers
Date:11/21/2012

WEDNESDAY, Nov. 21 (HealthDay News) -- Toy cars with parts so small a child could choke on them, a plastic "robot" with excessive lead levels, and a play car horn that's so loud it could damage a child's hearing are just some of the dangerous playthings on this year's "Trouble in Toyland" report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).

These types of toys are still being sold in stores across the United States and parents need to be vigilant while doing their holiday shopping, according to the 27th annual report.

"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," Nasima Hossain, public health advocate for U.S. PIRG, said in a news release issued by the group.

For their report, PIRG staffers bought toys off store shelves and tested them for lead, cadmium and phthalates, all of which have been shown to pose a serious threat to the health of young children.

The researchers found toys that contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead levels above the limit of 100 parts per million. They also found toys that exceed recommended noise standards and are potentially harmful to children's hearing.

Despite a ban on small parts for children under age 3, the researchers also found toys that still pose choking hazards.

Some of the toys parents need to watch out for this holiday season, according to PIRG:

  • "Dragster" cars -- These tiny cars, bought at a Toys R Us and made by Z WindUps, have a rubber traction band on their wheels that could detach and choke a child if swallowed.
  • "Super Play Food Set" -- The miniature plastic pretend "food" set is made by Geoffrey LLC, a subsidiary of Toys R Us. PIRG warns that "toy food poses a special [choking] hazard because it looks as if it should be eaten."
  • "Morphobot" -- Made by GreenBrier International and bought at a Dollar T
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