-- Robert Preidt
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
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:
Toys containing tiny magnets are a particular hazard this year,
"The Trouble in Toyland report appropriately alerts parents and consumers to the dangers of high-powered magnets, such as those sold in sets of 100 or more, and the life-threatening gastrointestinal injuries they can cause when swallowed," Dr. Bryan Rudolph, a pediatric gastroenterology fellow at Children's Hospital at Montefiore in New York and a member of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, said in the news release.
"The rising number of magnet injuries in children and teenagers suggests that the sale of high-powered magnets should be prohibited. In the meantime, the best defense against high-powered magnet ingestion and a trip to the emergency department is to make sure they are not present where children, live, visit or play," he advised.
Parents need to remember that no government agency tests all
toys before they go on store shelves and that toys not on the list
of potentially dangerous items could still pose hazards, said
Robert Adler, commissioner of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety
"The message of today is clear. Parents have to stay vigilant. We cannot and must not accept any weakening of our consumer and public health safeguards because they protect young children, America's littlest consumers," he said in the news release.
U.S. PIRG provides
tips for safe
toy shoppingthat consumers can access on their smartphones.
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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