By Nancy Picasso
Shopping for toys this Holiday season and trusting the toys on shelves is something consumers are thinking about. Trouble in Toyland is an annual toy safety survey done by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). In TROUBLE IN TOYLAND 2017, this year’s 32nd annual release report, emphasizes toy warnings such as excessive levels of lead in some fidget spinners, data-collecting toys that may violate children’s privacy as well as other consumer protection laws, and toy recalls that may not be effective in reaching all shoppers.
In efforts to help educate consumers about toy safety hazards, PIRG has been providing safety guidelines for purchasing toys and The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has also helped keep consumers updated by announcing product recalls. Below are examples of toys currently on store shelves that threaten the safety of children as well as recommendations as to what parents and caregivers can do to protect their children from potential hazards.
What to look out for:
- Data-Collecting Toys- “My Friend Cayla,” found at Wal-Mart and Kohl’s
- Small Parts- Peg game, golf, and football travel games found at Dollar Tree
- Lead- Two fidget spinners found at Target had high levels of lead
- Balloons- In attempts to inflating balloons they can get inhaled and stuck in children’s throats
Expert tips on how to protect your children found on a survey taken by PIRG:
- Be aware that that toys connected to the Internet, as well as apps and websites, may be collecting information about children inappropriately
- Report unsafe toys or toy-related injuries to the CPSC at Saferproducts.gov
- Review the recalled toys in this report and compare them to toys in your children’s toy boxes
- Subscribe to email recall updates from the CPSC and other U.S. government safety agencies available at https://www.recalls.gov/