NJPIRG releases list of dangerous toys
December 31st, 2016
A statewide public watchdog group is adding to its list of potentially dangerous toys with a warning issued just days before the start of the holiday shopping season.
Officials with NJ PIRG, or Public Interest Research Group, said their recent testing of about 200 toys turned up 22 items that posed choking threats, contained high levels of heavy metal chromium or had poor or confusing warning labels.
Some of the toys — found at everything from dollar stores to national chain stores – pose threats to children’s hearing and, in the case of some toy magnets, serious internal health issues if swallowed, NJ PIRG officials said.
“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe,” said NJ PIRG Toxics Campaign Director Carli Jensen. “However, until that is the case, toy buyers need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys.”
While this year’s report, called “Trouble in Toyland,” revealed some problems, NJ PIRG officials acknowledged that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Act of 2008 continues to take some of the most dangerous toys and children’s products off the market.
Federal regulations resulted in the recall this year of toys for violating lead standards, NJ PIRG said. The organizations said tests it performed on some toys this year showed no problems with lead.
“We believe this is a sign of progress. (But) this does not mean that lead cannot be found in other toys,” according to the organization, which urged even more watchfulness regarding children’s toys.
“Our leaders and consumer watchdogs need to do more to protect our youngest consumers from the hazard of unsafe toys,” Jensen said. “No child should ever be injured, get sick or die from playing with a dangerous toy.”
NJ PIRG officials announced the results of their 30th annual toy survey during a press conference at a Weisman Children’s Medical Day Care Center here. The center provides nursing care for children from birth through age 6.
Stephanie Miller, a child life specialist at the facility, said the center is always looking for reports about potentially dangerous toys and related safety hazards. Another important issue for the center and parents is to reduce the risk of toy-related problems by finding toys that match a child’s developmental capabilities, she said.
Another way to safeguard children from toys that are considered safe is to always check to see if a toy is somehow broken, said Amanda Carrera, a nurse’s aide at the center.
“(Parents) can turn their back for just a few seconds and a toy can be broken,” she said.