A self-described public watchdog group released its 19th annual survey of dangerous toys. The annual survey by the Public Interest Research Group or PIRG, is designed to warn parents about potentially dangerous toys as they look for holiday gifts. PIRG spokesman Emmet O’Hanlon says the Consumer Product Safety Commission pulled 17 toys from last year’s list off store shelves. He says according to the C-P-S-C, in 2003 more than 200-thousand people sought treatment in hospital emergency rooms from injuries suffered while playing with toys. He says over one third of the people were under the age of five and 14 kids died because of the toys they played with. O’Hanlon says parents wrongly assume the toys are monitored or pass tests before they gon on the shelf — but he says that’s not the case. He says there are some repeats on the danger list this year — including the water yo-yo. He says the C-P-S-C has fielded 400 complaints about the water yo-yos through October this year — including three in Iowa. He says strangulation and suffocation injuries are most often reported with the toy and he says children also suffered serious eye injuries. He says balloons are another dangerous toy for young kids. He says balloons have been responsible for half of all choking deaths among children since 1990 when they started keeping records. He says 67 children have choked to death on balloons or parts of balloons in that time. O’Hanlon says you should also look out for any toys that might have small pieces that children can choke on. He says a good test is seeing if the toy fits through the center of an empty toilet paper roll. He says any toy that fits through presents a choking hazzard and should not be played with by a child under three. O’Hanlon says toymakers self regulate the noise made by toys and this year’s winner as the loudest is the G-I Joe M-1 tank — which he says can damage ears with it’s sound.For the full report on dangerous toys, surf to www.toysafety.net.
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