For the 36th year, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) has released its “Trouble in Toyland” report exposing risks posed by dangerous toys – just in time for the holiday season when toy-shopping peaks.
This year’s report shows that many toys in stores are counterfeit or have been recalled for safety issues, and alarmingly, find a way into consumers’ shopping carts and homes.
Report on Dangerous Toys
According to the report, it is not always straightforward to determine whether a toy is safe or not, especially online, where you cannot inspect the item or it may be mislabeled or missing a warning such as a recall notice. So far in 2021, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has recalled 13 potentially dangerous toys. PIRG Education Fund researchers found two additional recalled products – a hoverboard and a children’s watch accessory – that many would consider toys. The recalled toys posed health and safety risks including high lead levels, potential ingestion by a child, and small parts of parts that could break off easily.
What You Need to Watch Out For
Here are some of the hazards consumers should look for this holiday season to avoid dangerous toys when they are buying presents:
Counterfeit toys: Knockoffs and counterfeit toys are extremely common online. Many are from overseas stores where manufacturers don’t always follow U.S. regulations. PIRG researchers identified counterfeit toys on the marketplace and the safety concerns they can pose to kids.
Second-hand toys: A lot of people sell their used items online without checking to see if they’ve been recalled. This can be a huge problem when it comes to recalled or dangerous toys. Many of these toys can be found for sale on eBay. So, before you buy, check CPSC’s website to see if they’ve been recalled.
Choking hazards: PIRG researchers found discrepancies between website descriptions and warning labels for toys with small parts. Even toys, which were advertised for children 2 and over, had small parts that are unsafe for 3-year-olds.
Noisy toys: These are not just headache-inducing, but they could also put your child’s hearing at risk.
Smart toys: There are a lot of privacy issues concerning smart toys. For example, there could be cameras and recording devices built into toys. Unsecure mobile apps may be used to control toys and your personal information could be stored in some toys.
If your child has been injured by faulty or defectively-designed dangerous toys, please contact an experienced product defect lawyer to obtain more information about pursuing your legal rights.