'Trouble in Toyland' survey of toy safety released

SAN DIEGO - Dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America's store shelves, according to the California Public Interest Research Group's 27th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report.

Members of CALPRIG released the findings at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego. According to CALPRIG, the report reveals the results of laboratory testing on toys for lead, cadmium and phthalates; all of which have been proven to have serious adverse health impacts on the development of young children.

The survey also found small toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that threaten children's hearing and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.

To download the full Trouble in Toyland report, click here.

Key findings from the report include:

  • Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. The group found toys which contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead content above the 100 parts per million limit.
  • Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under three, CALPRIG found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards.
  • They also found toys that are potentially harmful to children's ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
  • The consumer group discovered small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.

Dr. Marcella Bothwell – the ear, nose and throat doctor at Rady Children's Hospital –sees two children a week that have swallowed something they should not have. 

"I see the parent's faces," she said. "I see the tragedy. I see the 'my child was perfectly healthy and now is he going to live or not.'"

The group also provides an interactive website with tips for safe toy shopping that consumers can access on their smartphones at www.toysafety.mobi.

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