'Trouble in Toyland' report examines potentially unsafe toys

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- Toys are number one on the Christmas list of every child and, for parents, getting just the right toy the child wants can sometimes be a challenge.

But, there's more than making sure you get the right toy, parents need to make sure the toy is also safe.

"Trouble in Toyland" is the title of an annual report put out by the Public Interest Research Group which warns of dangerous or unsafe toys. They've been researching the issue for 32 years and they say the report has led to over 150 recalls of unsafe toys over the years.

The toys they are talking about this year can be found all over the country -- from big box stores to small mom-and-pop operations in any hometown.

This year the organization is focusing on several areas of concern about children's toys.

They're looking at toys with toxic hazards such as the Fidget Wild Premium Brass Spinner, which the group says lab tests found contained 33,000 ppm of lead, which is more than 300 times the legal limit for lead in children's products.

The research group is also worried about data collection toys, which may be storing or sharing personal information about a child. The info could later be hacked by criminals or others.

Another warning concerns small parts on toys that can break off and be choking hazard -- or can be ingested causing serious or fatal consequences.

A WakeMed emergency room doctor explained a problem about small batteries in detail as she described what's known as a "button battery."

Those batteries are found in multiple toys around the holiday.

"If a child swallows this, it can actually erode the GI tract and cause a hole. That's a medical emergency and can even cause death," said Dr. Amy Griffin.

The research group says parents need to pay attention to toy recalls because unlike recalls of big items like cars, toy makers don't reach out to consumers individually when there is a recall.

Click to read more details about the Public Interest Research Group report.


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