As the holidays near, a new report shows dangerous toys may still be sitting on store shelves in Iowa.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group issues its Trouble in Toyland report each year, targeting toys that present choking hazards, use excessive noise or contain unsafe levels of lead and other dangerous chemicals.
PIRG spokesman Peter Skopec says they looked in stores and online: “We continue to find dangerous products that could harm or poison children,” Skopec says. “We found these toys everywhere, at dollar stores but also at big name stores like Walmart and Target and Toys ‘R’ Us but also at online retailers like Amazon.com.”
Skopec says the report is a reminder that parents and those shopping for children need to be careful about what they purchase. While federal regulations for toy safety have improved dramatically in the last eight years, Skopec says they continue finding an array of dangerous toys.
“There are still products out there that pose hazards to children that fail to meet these important safeguards,” Skopec says. “In some cases, standards have to be made stronger in order to protect kids from unsafe toys.”
This year’s report highlights 24 toys which the group considers unsafe, which includes toys that put out loud and potentially ear-damaging sounds. One such product is a toy smart phone made by V Tech.
“This is a toy phone we found at Target,” Skopec says. “It’s meant to be held up close to a child’s ear and it’s extremely loud.”
For nearly 30 years, PIRG has done an annual survey on toy safety which has led to more than 150 recalls and other regulatory actions.