Florida consumer group warns parents about dangerous toys

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Florida consumer groups are warning parents about dangerous toys that are available online and in stores. These toys could even be in your child’s toy box.

Florida PIRG released its 31st annual report “Trouble in Toyland” on Tuesday. The report lists a variety of toys that pose dangers to children. From choking hazards, to lead paint, the toys do not meet consumer product safety standards in the U.S.

Susan McGrath with the Florida Consumer Action Network said these dangerous toys are still found in homes. “Parents and caregivers should watch out for recalled toys in their homes as well as online stores. We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe,” McGrath said.

The U.S. PIRG has conducted an annual survey of toys for more than 30 years. The survey has resulted in the recall of more than 150 toys, but recalls aren’t always effective.

“Consumers should understand two things. First, not all recalls may be well publicized. So, we should check our house for previously recalled toys and secondly, some toys that are recalled are still available online,” McGrath said.

The survey often looks at toys that can easily fall apart and pose choking hazards, but toys with magnets and batteries also pose risks to small children who may stick those items up their noses or swallow them.

Emergency room physician Dr. Wassam Rahman says he often sees small children who have pieces of toys, batteries or magnets up their noses, creating breathing problems.

Rahman, who works at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, says it may take days for parents to realize a child has put something up his or her nose.

“Typically in the battery you will probably know sooner than later, but typically we see toys and this can last for weeks. A child has put a toy up there and you get this foul odor,” Rahman said.

U.S. Congresswoman Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, attended the news briefing and said the Consumer Product Safety Commission tests thousands of products in the U.S. Castor said she will fight to make sure the agency continues to receive funding.

“It’s not wise to cut the budget of the Consumer Product Safety Commission because the commission save lives,” the congresswoman recalled.

Go here to see if a particular toy has been recalled.

The full “Trouble in Toyland” report can be seen here. 

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