It says toy safety has improved, but problems still remain.
Baltimore, Md (KM) The 2019 “Trouble in Toyland” report has been released by the Maryland Public Interest Research Group. The report, made public annually around the Holidays, says toy safety has improved over the past three decades “Kids are safer than ever from these hazards thanks to years of hard work by consumer, public health and other organizations, along with elected officials and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission,”: says Rishi Shah with Maryland PIRG.
However, he says some dangerous toys are still on some store shelves. “But with threats appearing and old dangers lurking, there’s a lot more work to do to prevent children from ending up in sick, or in the emergency room instead of joyfully playing at home,” says Shah.
He says there are toys on the market which have detectable dangers. “Which includes thinks like choking hazards, extremely loud noises, and products intended for an older age group such as adults,” says Shah.
Maryland PIRG says parents can check to see if a toy is a choking hazard by dropping it inside of a toilet paper roll. If it’s falls through, it’s a choking hazard.
When it comes to balloons, Maryland PIRG says uninflated balloons are a primary cause of suffocation in children. Uninflated balloons should be kept away from children under eight, and debris from popped balloons should not be left lying around, says Shah.
If an action figure, a toy gun or other product produces a loud noise, Maryland PIRG says it can hurt a child’s ear. If you hold to your ear and it’s too loud for you, it’s too loud for your child.
Maryland PIRG says sculpture kids or puzzles may include some magnets that can seriously injure children if they swallow them.
And there are toys which have dangers that are undetectable. “Those toxins like boron, lead and cadmium that can proposed serious health threats to young children,” says Shah.
He says it’s difficult for parents to know if a toy contains toxic chemicals. “The US currently has no limits on boron in children’s products, or warning label requirements,” says Shah. “So what parents need to do in order to detect some of these more hidden dangers is to check websites like www.saferproducts.gov which shows which toys have been recalled because of these chemical dangers.”
Another website to check out is www.toysafetytips.org.
Another danger for parents when it comes to toys is recalls. Shah says toys which have recalled by manufacturers are still on some store shelves. Consumers can to go recall.gov to find which products have been recalled.
The “Trouble in Toyland” report is also available on line at http://uspirg.org.
By Kevin McManus