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Don't Forget Toy Safety In Last-Minute Shopping Rush

PHOTO: As parents across the nation get their last-minute shopping done, they're reminded that they should still take the time to make sure the toys they're picking out are not dangerous or toxic. CREDIT: Microsoft Images.
PHOTO: As parents across the nation get their last-minute shopping done, they're reminded that they should still take the time to make sure the toys they're picking out are not dangerous or toxic. CREDIT: Microsoft Images.
December 23, 2013

DES MOINES, Iowa - The time for gift shopping is quickly coming to an end, but parents are reminded that it still pays to be cautious when buying toys, to avoid those that are dangerous or toxic.

According to Shaina Shay, spokeswoman for the Public Interest Research Group, one main concern are those toys with high levels of lead.

She cited "the Marvel Superhero Squad Soft Shield that contains 2,900 parts per million of lead, which violates the standard by 29 times. Also the Ninja Turtles pencil case."

Shay also urged parents to stay away from toys that could present a choking hazard for young children, which - if you want to check on your own - is generally any product that would fit through a toilet paper roll.

Another consideration in toy buying is, how loud is it? The maximum suggested noise for toys that are held within an inch of the ear is 65 decibels, but Shay said one they found goes well beyond that.

"The Leapfrog Count and Chat Smartphone, which is clearly intended to be held up to the ear, exceeds not only the 65-decibel range but prolonged periods of 90 decibels."

You can find this year's entire "Trouble in Toyland" report online at the USPIRG website.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA