An Illinois consumer group released its 29th annual list of potentially hazardous toys in its Trouble in Toyland report today just in time for the upcoming holidays.
U.S. PIRG identified 24 toys that pose toxic, ingestion or choking hazards for chidren. The list includes a Dora the Explorer backpack, a Hello Kitty bracelet and hair clip accessory set, noise magnets, latex balloons and a Winnie the Pooh figurine, among other toys.
Some of the toys on the list have parts that are banned or illegal, but through loopholes are still on the market, according to U.S. PIRG. For example, Buckyballs -- a magnetic toy that if swallowed can bind across intestinal walls requiring surgery -- are illegal to sell in the U.S., but they can still be purchased online.
Other toys come in packages with improper labeling, making them hazardous for certain children. A mega value pack of 16 latex punch balloons, for example, is labeled as appropriate for children 3 years and older. According to U.S. PIRG, however, balloons are dangerous for children under the age of 8.
U.S. PIRG warns parents and caretakers to be cautious when giving children toys. They should read the labels to ensure the toys are age-appropriate, get rid of all packaging after the toy is purchased and find out if the toys contain toxic chemicals, among other tips.
The U.S. PIRG annual lists of hazardous toys has led to more than 150 recalls over the years, according to the consumer group. More information about the hazardous toys and the complete report can be found on their website.
Information about the safety of any products can be found on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website.