Md PIRG Releases 31st ‘Trouble In Toyland’ Report

It says some toys which have been recalled are still being sold online.


Baltimore, Md (KM) The 31st “Trouble in Toyland” report released on Tuesday by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group says 44 toys have been recalled over the past year and a half by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. But 16 of those toys are still for sale on line.

Maryland PIRG says consumers should be wary this year when they head out to the stores or go on line to shop for toys for their children for the holidays.

“This year we have focused our efforts on on line venues. And the reason for that is a lot of us are doing are shopping on line these days And also because on line stores are less regulated, which means that more hazards may exist,” says Juliana Bilowich, Public Health Organizer for Maryland PIRG.

She says some of these toys could have small parts which cause choking in children. “Choking is the number-one hazard for children with regard to toys,” Bilowich says. “We also toys with unsafe chemical levels. That could be lead paint;  it could be phthalates; it could be a number of chemicals. So we need stronger protection when it comes to chemicals.”

There’s also another danger when it comes to toys. “We also see an issue with magnets because if those are ingested, those could pose an additional hazard because they affect our intestines,” she says.

Unlike the recall of a car, where a manufacturer sends a letter to a home, that’s not the case with recalled toys, says Maryland PIRG.

Bilowich says residents need to keep up on recalls by subscribing to the recall updates sent out by e-mail by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.

She also says parents shopping for toys should look them over very carefully, making  sure it doesn’t have small parts or magnets that children could ingest. If you suspect your child has swallowed a toy or part of a toy, take he or she to the hospital emergency room, even if the kid appears to be okay. If your child is choking, call 911 immediately, says Maryland PIRG.

“It’s really up the companies to be responsible with the toys that they sell. It’s up the Consumer Product Safety Commission to conduct vigorous assessment of the toys, especially available on line. And it’s up to the parents and caregivers to make sure they remove any toys that have been recalled, and make sure those toys are age-appropriate,” says Bilowich.

By Kevin McManus