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Annual Toy Safety Report Highlights Hazards

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Meghan Hess, Program Associate - PIRGIM discusses potentially dangerous toys and how even though they may be deemed okay for young children, if they fit into the small test tube (or a toilet paper roll), they can still become a choking hazard. (WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

Meghan Hess, Program Associate – PIRGIM discusses potentially dangerous toys and how even though they may be deemed okay for young children, if they fit into the small test tube (or a toilet paper roll), they can still become a choking hazard. (WWJ Photo/Pat Sweeting)

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ROYAL OAK (WWJ) – Consumer advocates are out with a holiday season warning about some toys that could be dangerous to children.

Tuesday, the Public Interest Research Group (PIRGIM) released its 26th Annual Trouble in Toyland report, pointing to several toys that could pose a choking hazard to children under age three.

Program Associate Meghan Hess explains why this is happening even though the toys have been deemed safe.

blocks set Annual Toy Safety Report Highlights Hazards

(credit: PIRGIM)

“It’s that the standard is too small,” Hess told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Pat Sweeting. “The child’s airway is still capable of swallowing that item.”

Among 13 toys cited as choking hazards are a whirly wheel, a plastic book for babies, a wooden blocks set (pictured) and a Sesame Street Oscar doll.

This year’s report also warns of toys containing high levels of lead and a chemical used to soften plastic.

Despite the fact that toys containing more than 100 parts-per-million of lead are no longer allowed to be imported into the U.S. or manufactured in this country, PIRGIM reports that more than 200,000 toys were recalled in the past year because their lead levels were too high.

Trauma Prevention Nurse Donna Bucciarelli told reporters that lead and a child’s development don’t mix.

“It’s devastating. It causes learning disabilities. It causes retardation. It causes behavioral problems,” Bucciarelli said.

- Download a copy of the report (.pdf format) -

PIRGIM also provides an interactive website with tips for safe toy shopping that consumers can access on their smart phones at www.toysafety.mobi.

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