Tag Archives: Trouble in Toyland

Parents: Beware of Unsafe Toys

 

The Consumer Federation of America partnered with the U.S. Public Interest Group to conduct it’s 29th Annual Survey of Toy Safety. In the study’s findings, they reveal a list of toys that should be avoided, or made sure they are not put in the hands of young children, because they pose a serious health risk to them.

It’s unfortunate that there are children toy manufacturers who don’t adhere to the safety standards set by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. This survey just reminds parents and caregivers that it is important to be aware of the toys you allow your children to play with, and to throw them away if you notice signs of wear and deterioration.

Below we’ll share the hazard, why it is harmful, and the toys that should be avoided. Follow this link to read the study, “Trouble in Toyland.”

Standards for toy safety are enforced by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Safety standards include limits on toxics in children’s products, size requirements for toys for small children, warning labels about choking hazards, measures to keep magnets and batteries inaccessible, and noise limits.

 

Lead

Childhood exposure to even low levels of lead can undermine development, damaging academic achievement and attentiveness.

Unsafe levels of lead found in:

  • Play Sheriff and Police Badges Playset  Badge Playset

Sold at: Dollar Tree, also found on Amazon.com ($1.00)

Item Number: 186445-16750-1306

Manufacturer/Distributor: Greenbrier International

Label on toy: 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The sheriff’s star and the “Special Police” badge contain lead above the legal coatings limit of 90 parts per million (ppm), measuring above 110 ppm

 

Chromium

Skin contact with chromium can cause severe allergic reactions, which can include anything from skin redness and irritation, to swelling, to ulcers. Chromium compounds are also carcinogenic.

Unsafe levels of chromium found in:

  • Jake and the Neverland Pirates tambourine     J&NP Tambourine

Sold at: Dollar Tree ($1.00)

Item Number: 187254-23285-015-1403

Manufacturer/Distributor: Greenbrier International

Label on toy: 2+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The metal cymbals contain 580 ppm chromium, above the standard 60 ppm.

 

Phthalates

Exposure to phthalates at crucial developmental stages can harm or hinder the development of the male reproductive system, and can be linked to the early onset of puberty.

Unsafe levels of phthalates found in:

  • Hello Kitty Bracelet and Hair Clips Accessory Set  Hello Kitty Accessories Kit

Sold at: Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores ($3.00)

Item Number: 1342-8966

Manufacturer/Distributor: H.E.R. Accessories/Joann Stores Inc.

Label on toy: 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The plastic covering of the hair clips contains 5,100 ppm of the phthalate DEHP, above the legal limit of 1,000 ppm.

  • Leopard Pattern Rubber Duck  Leopard Rubber Duck

Sold at: Walmart ($0.97)

Item Number: Not Known

Manufacturer/Distributor: Infantino

Label on toy: 2+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The duck contains 1,400 ppm of the phthalate DINP, above the legal limit of 1,000 ppm.

  • Dora the Explorer Backpack  Dora Backpack

Sold at: Walgreens ($4.99)

Item Number: k56684-AN-012411

Manufacturer/Distributor: FAB Starpoint

Label on toy: 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The plastic portion of the backpack contains 200,000 ppm of the phthalate DEHP and 3,000 ppm DINP, both of which are banned above 1,000 ppm. The backpack may not be considered a toy, and therefore, it may be exempt from the standard. Regardless, the U.S. PIRG Education Fund believes that all children’s products should be held to a standard that keeps children safe.

 

 

Small Parts and Pieces

Small parts and pieces can block a child’s airway and become a choke hazard. For children, especially under the age of three, this can be a potentially deadly hazard.

Toys containing small parts:

  • Edushape 80 Pieces Textured Blocks  Edushape Blocks

Sold at: Purchased by researchers from both a boutique toy store and Amazon.com ($34.99)

Item Number: Cat. No. 716080

Manufacturer/Distributor: Edushape

Label on toy: 2+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The smallest semi-circular foam blocks in the set fit into the choke test cylinder. Not every set that was purchased in the survey contained these small parts, but small parts are not permitted in toys for children under the age of three.

  • Our Generation: Sydney Lee and “Stars in Your Eyes”  our-generation-sydney-lee-doll

Sold at: Target and other stores ($31)

Item Number: 08609130

Manufacturer/Distributor: Maison Joseph Battat

Label on toy: Non-standard choke hazard warning; 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The yo-yo included with the doll fits into the choke test cylinder. The toy should have a CPSC small parts warning label, as required for toys containing small parts and intended for children ages three to five.

 

  • Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Figurine Playset  DocMcstuffins

Sold at: Amazon.com and other retailers ($13.84)

Item Number: B00BQD7LU2

Manufacturer/Distributor: Disney Store

Label on toy: Non-standard choke hazard warning; 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The figurines can be broken off their bases, creating small parts that fit into the choke test cylinder. The toy should have a CPSC small parts warning label, as required for toys containing small parts and intended for children ages three to five.

 

Small balls less than 1.75 inches in diameter

These balls can be a hazard for children three years old and younger.

Toys containing small balls:

  • Magic Towel (Sports ball shaped)  Magic Towel Sports Balls

Sold at: Dollar Tree ($1.00)

Item Number: 119208-10062-001-1207

Manufacturer/Distributor: Greenbrier International

Label on toy: 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: The ball is larger than the choke text cylinder but smaller than the small ball tester. The toy lacks a small ball warning, required for any small ball intended for children over the age of three

 

Balloons

Balloons can be easily inhaled while attempting to inflate, and potentially can become stuck in a child’s throat. According to the survey, balloons are responsible for more choking deaths among children than any other toy or children’s product.

Toys containing balloons:

  • Mega Value Pack 16 Latex Punch Balloons  Latex Punch Balloons

Sold at: Party City ($5.99)

Item Number: No. 392656 or UPC 48419 93287 1

Manufacturer/Distributor: Amscan

Label on toy: Statutory balloon warning (Children under 8 can suffocate), the statutory small parts warning (Not for children under 3), and the 3+ label

Why the toy is a potential hazard: Balloons are dangerous for children under 8, but the package is labeled for 3+

 

Magnets

The study warns that when two or more powerful magnets are swallowed, they can have fatal health consequences as their attractive forces draw them together inside the body.

Toys containing powerful magnets:

  • The Mini Set  Mini set Zen Magnets

Sold at: Zen Magnets online store ($12.65)

Item Number: None Available

Manufacturer/Distributor: Zen Magnets

Label on toy: Lengthy disclaimer

Why the toy is a potential hazard: Comparable toys have been subject to recall by the CPSC. Zen Magnets is fighting the CPSC’s efforts to recall its products

 

  • Buckyballs  Buckyballs

Sold at: Buckyballstore.com ($20)

Item Number: UPC 8 56590 00322 4

Manufacturer/Distributor: Maxfield & Oberton

Label on toy: Lengthy disclaimer

Why the toy is a potential hazard: This toy is subject to recall by the CPSC. It is illegal to sell it in the U.S. 

 

Batteries

If batteries are ingested, chemical reactions can burn through the esophagus and blood vessels, causing fatal internal bleeding.

Toys containing battery hazards:

  • Cherubic Cetacean  Cherubic Cetacean out of box

Sold at: 99c Century among other retailers ($6.99)

Item Number: B698A

Manufacturer/Distributor: Hua Cai

Label on toy: Non-standard choke hazard warning; 3+

Why the toy is a potential hazard: Children can remove the batteries, which are near-small parts. The toy has already been recalled for this reason in Australia. In addition, under mild abuse, the toy broke into small parts that fit into the choke test cylinder, and it does not have the CPSC warning label