Monday, December 3, 2012

Consumer Alert: Dangerous Toys Announced

Just in time for the upcoming season of gift giving, consumers were alerted by the U.S.-based Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) through an early announcement of unsafe toys for children.

In its statement, the group noted that although the majority of toys can be considered safe, there are still some that are not appropriate for children but are still being displayed in stores’ shelves. The group warned that toys which can impair children’s hearing, have choking hazards, contain toxic chemicals, and/or contain powerful magnets can be fatal for children if swallowed.

On the other hand, a toymaker trade group, The Toy Industry Association, claimed that the said report is off the mark, stressing that most of the enlisted products comply with the nation’s strict safety standards, according to media sources.

Meanwhile, the report doesn’t seem to claim to be a comprehensive list of dangerous toys, since the PIRG only listed a few toys sold in the U.S. market that it believes to be dangerous.

Said list was quoted below as a ready reference:

Noisy toys

•    Fisher-Price’s Dora Guitar which emits more than 85 decibels (dB)
•    Toy State’s CAT Car Wheel/Horn which emits more than 85 dB
•    Maison Joseph Battat Ltd.’s FunKeys Car Keys which emits 80 dB if held to the ear

Choking hazards

•    Z-Windups’ Dragster Cars
•    Cool Novelty Products’ Bowling Game
•    RT Toy’s Factory Ball on a Stick Launcher
•    Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s Play Food
•    Unique Industry Inc.’s Baby’s 1st Birthday Balloons and Baby’s 2nd Birthday Balloon
•    Aoxing Toys Factory’s Golfing Game

Chemical-filled toys

•    Global Design Concepts Inc.’s Dora backpack contains phthalates
•    GreenBrier International Inc.’s Morphobot contains 180 parts per million (ppm) of lead

Magnet risks
•    GreenBrier International Inc.’s Snake Eggs has shape for easy swallowing

Nevertheless, although the PIRG found significant evidence of dangers in the said products, it doesn’t necessarily mean that there has been any product liability claim brought against its manufacturers, according to a personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles. However, he warned consumers to be mindful of choosing the best gift for children and to always consider their safety when buying toys for them.