Annual Trouble in Toyland survey released, reveals dangerous toys

Posted at 4:44 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 16:44:43-05

Trouble in Toyland is the name of the annual toy safety survey by the Public Interest Research Group.

They've identified some products that should not be on Santa's wish list.

Dr. Jamie Hope said, "It's incredibly frustrating because we want to trust these things. You go to a store and it's in the toy aisle of course it should be safe."

She and other experts from Beaumont Hopsital say reading labels and warnings may not prevent potential problems like choking hazards, burn hazards and lead toxicity.

Experts say some fidget spinners have high levels of lead considered for children's products, but it's still on shelves because it isn't categorized as toys.

They also warn parents about checking items and decorations for button batteries.

They used a hot dog as example of what would happen to a child's esophagus if swallowed.

"Those button batteries stick to the tissue and they immediately start an electro-chemical reaction that eats away that tissue."

To determine if something is a choking hazards to children under the age of three, use a toilet paper roll. If the item fits through it, it's too small.

"Very safe and easy way to figure out what should not be given to children, even if it's not labeled that way."

The Trouble in Toyland survey also identified some data-collecting toys like "My Friend Cayla" doll.

It's been banned in Germany over spying concerns.

The doll contains a microphone and is able to access the internet to answer a user's questions.

Some are concerned over hacking.

Eight-year-old Meadow Surman just attended an Internet safety class in school.

She says the app for the doll asks questions that raises privacy issues.

"Like your mom's name, your name, your school's name, your community's name those are some of the ones that made me most uncomfortable," Surman explained.

Overall, experts say trust your gut, not just the label.

Dr. Hope added, "I want parents to feel empowered. It's okay to say no to a certain toy, if it's not right for your kid, even if it is a gift."

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