Report lists most unsafe toys this holiday season

CALPIRG

However, the same common hazards that were found in past years - like inadequate warnings on toy labels, small and pointed parts, and projectile pieces - are present in numerous toys on this year's list.

Among the findings in the 32nd annual Trouble In Toyland report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found fidget spinners containing dangerously high levels of lead and several toys that had small parts, but did not have a warning label.

A nonprofit consumer group is out with its list of most unsafe toys heading into the holidays. It said choking continues to be the number one hazard when it comes to children's toys.

"Each year these allegations do not stand up to scrutiny when reviewed by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission", Joan Lawrence, SVP Standards & Regulatory Affairs for the Toy Association, told ConsumerAffairs. In some cases, there are deadly risks.

Numerous items named in U.S. PIRG's supposed "Trouble in Toyland" report were previously recalled due to ongoing regulatory vigilance, and are no longer offered for sale.

Researchers say some of the most risky toys are those with small parts because children can choke on them.

The report calls out what it said were unsafe levels of lead in two brands of fidget spinners previously sold at Target and online. Our staff found them in the toy aisles at four Targets around the country. "Lead harms the developing brain and is easily ingested through normal hand to mouth behaviors".

As technology evolves, many toys are becoming less like playthings and more like "smart" devices.

A new hazard @uspirg is warning parents about are data-collecting toys (doll in pic). The survey of potentially hazardous toys found that, despite recent progress, consumers must still be wary when shopping for children's gifts.

Consumer groups have filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission, alleging the toy, which contains an unsecure Bluetooth microphone, collects personal information, such as audio files of the child's voice, name, location and IP address.

"This means that a stranger could possibly connect to and access your child's doll", Hoffman said. "That information is uploaded to a website and it might be used for any objective". An example is "My Friend Cayla".

While choking hazards and toxicity remain top safety hazards, the group raised new concerns, like digital privacy, during a news conference at Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital.

These products "are either marketed to children under eight or have misleading warning labels that make it appear that they are safe for children between ages 3 and 8", the report says.

Wait, did you get all that?

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