Trouble in Toyland report lists dangerous toys which could hurt your kids

HARRISBURG, Pa. -- The Trouble In Toyland report is out for the 34th year.

The annual report warns about dangerous toys which can hurt the kids playing with them.

You can read more about all the toys which pose a danger to children here. 

Officials say if its too loud for you, it's definitely too loud for your kids, and it could hurt their hearing.

It's not all about noise though; many toys listed in the report are too small for your kids and could be a choking hazard, or they are toxic.

“If the toy fits inside here [a tube which can be bought online or a toilet paper roll], it is not safe for a small child," explained Amy Bollinger, manager of the Pediatric Trauma and Injury Prevention Program at Penn State Children's Hospital.

“If a child were to swallow these [magnets], they could bind up the child’s intestines," remarked Emma Horst-Martz, a staff member at PennPIRG.

Small, powerful magnets used in various toys, including construction sets, educational tiles, and sculpture kits can cause serious harm and even death when swallowed.

A ban on these magnets was overturned in 2016; officials believe the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission should propose a new safety standard for these rare-earth magnets.

This year, the report focuses on three categories of potential dangers: Detectable dangers, such as possible choking hazards and toys not meant for your kids, hidden toxins, including boron, which is found in some slime products, and recalled toys, many of which remain on retail sites long after they’re deemed a hazard.

Officials say policymakers should require labeling for children’s products with high boron concentrations and consider setting new health-based standards.

“I know there is sometimes this, 'oh, when I was a kid we could handle this stuff.' Well, that’s true, but we also used to slide down slides that had rust on them," remarked Auditor General Eugene Depasquale.

While Depasquale says it’s true, toys have become safer over the years, he says every year hundreds of thousands of children go to the emergency room because of toy-related injuries. Sounds preventable, right? That's because nurses who work at Penn State Children’s Hospital say it is.

“The number one thing we can do is, and it’s not rocket science, supervise your child," added Bollinger.

Finally, parents should always read and adhere to toys' labels.

If a toy says 'not recommended for children under the age of 6' - it's not meant for kids under the age of 6.

"Because they could get into something life threatening," warned Bollinger.

Since 2018's Trouble in Toyland report, 12 toys were recalled due to a number of threats, including choking hazards, burn risks, and more. Officials say the recall system should mandate companies to notify their customers, create marketing campaigns equivalent to those that sold the product, and directly notify child care centers of recalled toys potentially being played with at their facilities.

Over the years, the Trouble in Toyland reports have led to more than 150 recalls of unsafe toys and inspired legislation like the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act.

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