Consumers should make sure they are not buying a recalled toy when shopping online.
Shopping for toys online? Watch out for toys that have been recalled for lead, powerful magnets and other hazards, because they can still be available for sale in online stores, a report released Tuesday found.
U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund’s 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report, a survey of potentially hazardous toys, found that consumers should be wary when shopping this holiday season.
The report lists 44 toys totaling 35 million units recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission from January 2015 to October 2016, and alerts consumers that these recalled toys may still be in homes.
Click here to read the full report. which includes a full list of recalled toys, those that were found available for sale online, as well as specific information including manufacturers’ names, pictures, and remedies for what consumers should do if they have the recalled toys in their homes.
When large items like cars get recalled, owners will usually be contacted immediately through VIN numbers. That’s not the case with toy recalls.
“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, consumers should understand two things: first, not all recalls may be well-publicized so you should check your house for previously recalled toys and second, some toys that are recalled may still be available online,” said Dev Gowda, Toxics Advocate with U.S. PIRG.
The Toy Industry Association responded in a statement today that there isn’t any trouble in toyland.
“In fact, many of the items previously recalled as a result of ongoing regulatory vigilance and named by the group are juvenile products and not toys (e.g. hoverboards, children’s jewelry, pacifier clips, etc.). The inclusion of these products in a supposed “toy” safety report undermines the toy industry’s deep and ongoing commitment to ensuring that toys are among the safest consumer product categories found in the home. U.S. toy safety requirements are among the strictest in the world, with more than 100-plus standards and tests in place to ensure that all toys found on store shelves are safe,” the association said.
For information on recalls, toy safety and ways to ensure safe play, go to PlaySafe.org, the Toy Industry Association’s safety resource for parents and caregivers.
For over 30 years, the U.S. PIRG Trouble in Toyland report has offered safety guidelines for purchasing toys for small children. Over the years, our reports have led to over 150 recalls and other enforcement actions.
Some of the recalled toys that researchers found were still available for sale at online stores include:
A toy glockenspiel which was recalled in February 2016 due to high levels of lead in the paint. If the paint is scraped off and ingested lead can cause adverse health effects.
A remote-controlled flying toy which was recalled in June 2016. The toy’s USB charging cord can overheat, posing a hazard.
A pencil case which contains two magnets that hold the case lid closed can detach, posing an ingestion hazard. If these two magnets are swallowed, they can link together inside a child’s intestines and result in serious internal injuries
It is illegal to sell a recalled product under CPSC rules. PIRG has notified the CPSC about these potentially illegal sales and have asked them to investigate these toys further and take appropriate action.
Parents and caregivers can also take steps to protect children from potential hazards. PIRG recommends that parents:
Subscribe to email recall updates from the CPSC and other U.S. government safety agencies available at www.recalls.gov
Shop with U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Toy Safety Tips, available at ToySafetyTips.org.
Examine toys carefully for hazards before purchase – and don’t trust that they are safe just because they are on a store shelf. Check the CPSC recall database at CPSC.gov before buying toys online.
Remember, toys on our list are presented as examples of previously recalled toys only. Other hazards may exist.
Review the recalled toys list in this report and compare it to toys in your children’s toy boxes.
Put small parts, or toys broken into small parts, out of reach. Regularly check that toys appropriate for your older children are not left within reach of children who still put things in their mouths.
Over the past eight years, stronger rules have helped get some of the most dangerous toys and children’s products off the market. Rules put in place by the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act tightened lead limits and phased out dangerous phthalates.