The ‘Trouble In Toyland’ report has been released.
Baltimore, Md (KM) The upcoming Holiday season means many children will want toys to be placed under the tree. While progress has been made in toy safety over the years, Rishi Shah, an Associate with the Maryland PIRG Foundation, says there are still some problems.
“Toy safety has come a long way thanks to work by public health experts, consumer advocates, elected officials, and the US Consumer Product Safety Commission,” Shah says. “However, there’s still a long ways to go.”
Maryland PIRG has released the annual “Trouble in Toyland” report for 2020, which contains a lot of information on which toys are dangerous.
The most common issue, Shah says, is choking, where a child accidentally swallows small parts from a toy. But there are ways to tell if a toy with small parts is appropriate for your child. “You can take the cardboard tube from paper towel or toilet paper roll, and put the toy through it,” he says. “If it glides through easily, it’s likely too small for younger children to be playing with.”
Related to that is magnets. . Shah says small children who sometimes like to put things in their mouths. “Generally, if there’s one magnet, that can be problem. But the real issue is if young children swallow two magnets because they wills stick regardless of whether they are in your digestive system,” he says. “If one’s in your stomach and one’s in your small intestine, they’re going to try to stick together. And this can be really, really troublesome.”
Another concern is loud noises. The World Health Organization says found with decibel levels of between 100 and 120 decibels can cause damage to a child’s hearing if they last for more than one minute. But Shah says there are ways to muffle the noise. “You can take out the batteries. You can also attach a piece of tape or something to the speaker to muffle the sound so it’s a little less harsh to young children’s hearing,” he says.
Maryland PIRG says it’s researchers found a toy fire truck on sale on Amazon noisy enough to potentially damage a child’s hearing.
There’s also not knowing which toys have been recalled, and still might be on the shelves, or for sale on line. “Especially when you’re buying toys off of sites like eBay, or whether there’s any third party seller involved such as at a garage sale; then you can run into issues where there are toys being sold that are still on the recall list. Our researchers found pages of recalled toys on eBay, for example, including toys that had been recalled in early 2019.”
To find out if a toy has been recalled, you can go on line to www.saferproducts.gov.
Since last year’s publication of “Trouble in Toyland” report, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission announced voluntary recalls of the ten dangerous toys.
To read the “Trouble in Toyland” report, go to uspirg.org.
By Kevin McManus