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Report Finds "Trouble in Toyland" for Online Shoppers

Despite improved toy safety, parents are urged to be vigilant and look for hazards. (Pixabay)
Despite improved toy safety, parents are urged to be vigilant and look for hazards. (Pixabay)
December 1, 2016

DENVER – As Colorado parents and caregivers tackle their holiday shopping lists, a new report is reminding them to keep toy safety top of mind.

The U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund last week released its annual "Trouble in Toyland 2016," report, focused this year on toy recalls.

Mike Litt, a consumer program advocate with the group, says more than 40 recalls of toys and children's products have been announced since January 2015, yet the group’s research found more than a dozen of the items might still be for sale.

"The ones that we were still able to find online included those that had exceeded the limits on lead,” he relates. “They were magnet hazards. They also included chargers and batteries that overheated and could cause burns or fires."

Litt says thanks to the efforts of safety advocates, parents, policymakers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toys are safer than ever before.

But he cautions that adults should still be vigilant by examining toys for hazards, both those they're considering buying and those already in the home.

Recall information also is posted online at cpsc.gov.

Litt notes that over the past 30 years, the annual report has contributed to more than 150 recalls, as well as regulatory actions. He says that includes a 2008 law that expanded the scope of the CPSC.

"It gave the commission more tools to speed recalls of dangerous toys,” he states. “It banned toxic metals and certain phthalates from many types of toys and children's products, and then also required mandatory third-party testing of toys and other children's products by manufacturers."

The recalled items listed in the report that are available online include die-cast metal cars with sharp edges, a Little Digger toy that contains excessive lead levels and a pacifier clip that could break, posing a choking hazard.



Eric Galatas, Public News Service - CO