Some toys that have been recalled for lead, powerful magnets, or other hazards can still be available for sale in online stores, according to WashPIRG Public Interest Research Group Foundation’s 31st annual Trouble in Toyland report.
The report lists potentially hazardous toys recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from January 2015 to October 2016 with the message to consumers that these recalled toys may still be in homes. For large items such as cars, when they get recalled, owners will usually be contacted immediately through VIN numbers. However, 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,” Bruce Speight, WashPIRG Director.
For over 30 years, the WashPIRG Trouble in Toyland report has offered safety guidelines for purchasing toys for small children.
Some of the recalled toys that their 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.
“Parents are the last line of defense against toy related injury,” says Dr. Brian Johnston, chief of pediatrics at Seattle’s Harborview Medical Center. “To prevent problems with holiday toys, read the labels, follow age-limits, and check for recalls. Above all, use common sense: the most serious injuries come from riding toys, toys with small parts that pose a choking hazard, toys that include small magnets and toys that use button batteries.”
According to WashPIRG, It is illegal to sell a recalled product under CPSC rules. Parents and caregivers can take steps to protect children from potential hazards in the following ways:
- 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.
- Report unsafe toys or toy-related injuries to the CPSC at Saferproducts.gov.
- 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.