U.S. PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland finds dangerous toys on shelves during holiday shopping season
Columbia, SC—Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands, in its role to help keep children safe in the community, is sharing the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s (U.S. PIRG) 34th annual Trouble in Toyland Report.
“Toys have become safer over the last three decades, but dangerous and toxic toys are still on store shelves. With that in mind, parents need to be vigilant to keep their kids healthy and safe,” said Grace Brombach, U.S. PIRG Education Fund’s Consumer Watchdog Associate. “Manufacturers and regulators must do more to ensure all toys are safe before they end up in a child’s hands.”
Prisma Health Health Children’s Hospital pediatricians Jeff Holloway, MD, and Hollie Edwards, MD, discussed the list of recalled toys and provided tips for shoppers to help them avoid purchasing unsafe toys for loved ones this holiday season.
Holloway said, “We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe, however, until that is the case, parents and toy shoppers should know that recalled toys still can be found online and may already be in children’s homes. It is illegal to sell a recalled product under Consumer Product Safety Commission rules, but the report shows that recalled toys are being sold to unsuspecting consumers online. The Trouble in Toyland report includes a full list of recalled toys, shopping tips and recommendations for what consumers should do if they have the recalled toys in their homes.”
For more than 30 years, Trouble in Toyland has issued toy safety guidelines and has provided examples of toys currently on store shelves that pose potential safety hazards to small children. Key findings from this year’s report include:
- Detectable dangers: Parents can recognize numerous dangerous products just by looking at them. A few common threats include choking hazards, balloons, loud noises, magnets and toys marketed to adults.
- Hidden toxics: In the last year, toys and other children’s products containing lead, cadmium and boron were found for sale -- posing a health risk parents cannot see.
- Recalled Toys: The last line of defense is our nation’s recall system. But, U.S. PIRG Education Fund researchers were able to purchase some items which were recalled over a year ago. Parents should check to see if a toy has been recalled by visiting Recalls.gov.
Edwards added, “The continued presence of these hazards in toys highlights the need for constant vigilance by parents, grandparents and gift-givers to ensure that children do not end up playing with unsafe toys. We also want parents and toy shoppers to look carefully at toys they may already own and toys that are in the homes of friends and family they may be visiting during the holidays.”
In addition to identifying dangerous toys already on store shelves, U.S. PIRG provides a guide on how parents, grandparents and other caretakers can ensure toys are safe and stay updated on recalled toys at ToySafetyTips.org.
About Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands
Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands is South Carolina’s first children's hospital and has more than 150,000 children’s visits each year. It offers more than 30 subspecialties to meet the unique health care needs of children and has central South Carolina's only Children’s Emergency Center. With more than 350 professionals who work exclusively with children, Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands has a team of highly skilled and trained experts unmatched by any hospital in the Midlands. Prisma Health Children’s Hospital–Midlands is the place to go for children's medical care, because the best care matters.
About U.S. PIRG
U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group) Education Fund is an independent, non-partisan group that works for consumers and the public interest. Through research, public education and outreach, we serve as counterweights to the influence of powerful interests that threaten our health, safety, and well-being.