COLORADO SPRINGS – Kids across the United States are bound to get a variety of different toys this holiday season.
However, each year there are dangerous and toxic toys that wind up in the hands of small children.
Before you head out this Black Friday, the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) has some tips to keep your little ones safe.
On Tuesday, the organization released its 33rd annual “Trouble in Toyland” report. This document outlines dozens of items that are either choking hazards, contain dangerous chemicals if ingested, some that are raising privacy concerns, and a few that could end in tragedy.
Allison Conwell, consumer advocate with CoPIRG, said, “It happens all too often and the sad thing is these deaths are preventable.”
According to the report, between 2001 and 2016 almost 300 reported toy-related deaths have happened in children younger than 15.
Conwell said, “No one should have to worry about whether or not the toy they’re buying is dangerous or toxic and even this year in 2018 we are still finding hazards on our toy shelves.”
Conwell showed News 5 the potential dangers of several toys. The first: slime products.
“Our research has shown that some of the slime products we tested contain really high levels of boron.”
Conwell said if ingested, boron can cause nausea, vomiting, and potentially long-term reproductive health issues.
“Our next toy we found is this toy plane. We believe it to produce excessive noise…close to their heads we believe it can potentially cause hearing damage in children.”
The third item CoPIRG wants to highlight: balloons.
“Balloons accounted for 40 percent of the toy-related choking deaths between 2001 and 2016.”
Smart toys or items that connect to the internet are also raising concerns.
“Conversations that may happen within the toy’s earshot may be recorded and sent to third parties, potentially for things like marketing and advertising without the parents knowledge or consent.”
The bottom line when it comes to toys, Conwell said, is that “manufacturers and online retailers need to do better at making sure that their products are safe enough for children’s hands and mouths, and properly labeled.”
Another tip-as you’re shopping this weekend both online and in stores make sure to check labels on toys for any warnings.
Below, you can find more information on the report:
The organization is asking parents to watch out for possible issues with the following types of toys ahead of the holiday season.
- Balloons – improper labeling that doesn’t detail possible choking hazards
- Fidget spinners or toys marketed toward adults – These can sometimes avoid child safety standards
- Hatching toys- small parts can be a choking hazard
- Toy makeup – Asbestos was found in Claire’s makeup last year
- Toy slime – High levels of Boron
- Toys with small magnets- Choking hazard
- Smart toys – Privacy concerns
This year, the report focused on safety concerns with the following toys:
Balloons – Latex balloons are dangerous to children under 8 years old because they can be a choking hazard. USPIRG found that many balloons sold on Amazon did not properly label them
BCI Burke Merge Metal Climbers – Handgrip locations can be too large and pose a strangulation hazard
Bundle of LOL Surprise! Pearl Surprise Turquoise and Purple Styles – Accessory pieces are unsafe, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commissions
Dr. Brown’s Lovey Pacifier & Teether Holders – The snap can detach from the pacifier ribbon, posing a choking hazard
Fidget Spinner Keychains – The center of the fidget spinner can fall out and pose a choking hazard
Haniex Soft Magic Crystal Slime – USPIRG tests showed high levels of Boron
Hatchimals Fabula Forest; Hatching Egg with Interactive Tigrette by Spin Master – The eggshell pieces can be a hazard, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission
iBaseToy Fluffy Slime – USPIRG tets showed high levels of Boron
INNOCHEER Musical Instruments Set – Paint on instruments contain high levels of lead
Kangaroos Original Super Cool Slime – USPIRG tets showed high levels of Boron
Kidsco Glow in The Dark Slime -USPIRG tets showed high levels of Boron
Lights & Lullabies Travel Mobiles – Clamp attaching mobile to the crib can break, causing the mobile to fall onto an infant
Mason & Billy Action Dolls – Joints of dolls can break, posing a choking hazard
Mega Value Pack 14 Latex Punch Balloons – Balloons are unsafe for children under the age of 8, but they are labeled for ages 3+
Meland Fluffy Slime – USPIRG tests showed high levels of Boron
Michaels Creatology® Pottery Wheel Kits – The battery compartment can overheat, posing fire hazards
Michaels Creatology® Spin Art Kits – The battery compartment can overheat, posing fire hazards
Munchkin Waterpede™ Children’s Bath Toys – bath toy can break into small pieces, posing a choking risk
My First Porsche – Wooden Cars – The wheels and axle can detach, posing a choking hazard
Nickelodeon PAW PATROL Deluxe Marshall Hat with Flashlight – Batteries in flashlight can overheat causing a fire hazard
Nerf® Battle Racer Go-Karts – The steering wheel can detach and break and become sharp or cause collisions.
Petit Collage Musical Jumbo Wooden Xylophones – Ball on the end of the Xylophone stick can separate, posing a choking hazard
PlanToys Baby Gym – Babies can strangle on the side rope crossbars on the baby gyms
Playtime Pals Pop-Up Hideaway Hut Children’s Tents – Fiberglass rod that supports the tent can break and become sharp
Pull-Back Speedy Jets – Rubber tires can separate from the wheels, posing a choking hazard
Radio Flyer Children’s eWagons – Improper wiring can activate motor unintentionally, posing an injury hazard
Rubber Critter Toys – Orange and yellow paint contains higher levels of lead than allowed.
Shake & Sing Elephant Rattles – Ears of the elephant rattle can break off and be a choking hazard
‘Totally Me!’ Clay Craft Kits – Mold could be found in the clay
Toysmith Jupiter Juice Slime- USPIRG tets showed high levels of Boron
Toys R Us Bruin Infant Wiggle Ball Toys – The rubber knobs and plastic can detach, posing a choking hazard
Wind-up Musical Toys, Kids Preferred LLC. – The metal post or handle can detach, posing a choking hazard
Click here to view the full report.