Trouble in Toyland: Child Security, Misleading Labels Top Concerns
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – This Cyber Monday and during the rest of the holiday shopping season, you may want to take the time to read labels and carefully consider toys you buy for the children in your life.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group has released its “Trouble in Toyland” report, and while concerns over small parts and lead place toys on the list, technology provides a new concern.
The doll My Friend Cayla is on the list. It has Bluetooth capability that Kristen Carver, a campus organizer for PIRG, says is cause for concern.
"Your child can ask it questions and it talks back to you,” Carver explains. “It has an unsecured Bluetooth connection.
“Anybody can really access it and could potentially listen in on things that are going on in your home."
The FBI recently issued a warning against toys that include unsecured technology, and the doll is banned in Germany.
The company has insisted in public statements the doll is safe.
PIRG also found high amounts of lead in fidget spinners sold at Target, and the retailer has removed those spinners from its shelves.
Carver cites problems with toys found in other stores that had conflicting information on their packaging.
"They had misleading labels,” she points out. “So, they had labels that said they're not for children under 8. However, they also had a 3 plus label."
Magnets and button batteries present extra concerns as choking hazards, since they can cause severe damage to a child's digestive system and take extra time to be discovered in their bodies.
To make sure smaller toys don't present a choking hazard to young children, Carver recommends using a toilet paper roll. If the toy fits, it could get lodged in a child's throat.