Toy Safety a Concern as Holiday Shopping Gets Underway

Dec 2, 2013

ConnPIRG's annual survey of toy safety warns that not all toys comply with stricter new laws.
Credit polica/iStockphoto / ConnPIRG
Toy recalls in the U.S. from 2007 to 2012 have gone down since the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act took effect. As of November, there were just 31 toy recalls in 2013, according to ConnPIRG.
Credit ConnPIRG

With the holiday shopping season underway, the Connecticut Public Interest Research Group has released its annual report on toy safety. Director Abe Scarr cautioned that parents and guardians need to watch out for toys with toxic chemicals on store shelves.

"These are some of the most dangerous," Scarr said, "because they'’re invisible to parents and caretakers. Unfortunately, many children'’s products, including plastics, use chemicals like phthalates as softeners, which can pose a hazard to children, especially with accumulation over time."

ConnPIRG also found toys that exceed noise standards. The National Institute on Deafness advises people to avoid prolonged exposure to noise levels above 85 decibels. Scarr said, "They advise close-to-ear toys should not produce continuous sound that exceeds 65 decibels. We definitely found several toys on the shelf that exceed those decibel levels." That includes toy cell phones marketed to children six to 18 months old.

ConnPIRG reports that in the past five years, stronger rules have helped to get some of the most dangerous toys off the market, but not all toys comply with the stricter laws.

Watch archived footage of ConnPIRG's annual toy safety report briefing below: