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Illinois Consumers Fight Back Against Unsafe Toymakers

December 8, 2009

CHICAGO - It's tough to know which toys are safe to buy this holiday season. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that thousands of children are treated for toy-related injuries every year, and the Illinois Attorney General's office says that 121 unsafe products meant for children have been recalled this year.

However, there is legislation in place that should help soon. A spokesman for the Attorney General's office, Natalie Bauer, says that beginning January 1, 2010, retailers in Illinois will be required to place warning labels on toys containing high lead levels.

"We're working very diligently to make sure that consumers have as much information available to them as is possible, to ensure making the proper purchasing decision."

Bauer says that the Illinois Attorney General's Web site contains a list of recalled toys, along with a hot line number to call if your child winds up with an unsafe toy. She says that if your child is injured by an unsafe toy you should be sure to contact the authorities.

"Get in touch with both the manufacturer and the CPSC because they may be able to identify that there is a larger problem."

Bauer says that Illinois consumers who are concerned about toy safety can feel free to call the Attorney General's hot line, which is toll-free at 888-414-7678.

"They can certainly consider us a central resource. This is a key issue for the Attorney General. She's very concerned about dangerous products that could be putting children's health and safety at risk."

The Illinois Attorney General is Lisa Madigan.

Others are keeping their eyes on toys as well. An organization called HealthyStuff.org tested nearly 700 toys this year and found some problems. For two examples, the Barbie Bike Flair Accessory Kit and Dora the Explorer Activity Tote tested high in lead.

Toy safety lists can be found at these Web sites: cpsc.gov,
healthystuff.org, and
illinoisattorneygeneral.gov

Mary Anne Meyers, Public News Service - IL