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Holiday shoppers beware: Hazardous toys may still be for sale online

A Massachusetts consumer watchdog released its annual "Troubles in Toyland" report.

Toys that pose toxic hazards (top row) and choking hazards (above) according to a U.S. PIRG

The holiday shopping season is fast approaching, and a Massachusetts consumer watchdog group has a warning to anyone in the market for a gift for a child: Toys that have been recalled for a variety of reasons by their manufacturers may still be for sale online.

The 31st annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, compiled byhe Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group Education Fund, details potentially harmful toys that may still be available to consumers.

The report, released Tuesday, lists toys that have been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission between January 2015 and October 2016 for possible choking and toxic hazards, as well as other problems.

Some of the toys pulled off the shelves months ago were still available online, including a remote-controlled flyer that was recalled in June because its USB charging cord could overheat.

Another included a glockenspiel that was recalled in February because of high levels of lead in the musical instrument's paint.

And an innocent-looking pencil case was deemed a hazard because two magnets that hold the lid closed could fall off, and when swallowed, reconnect and cause internal injuries.


“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe,” said Tehya Saylor, organizer with MASSPIRG, in a news release. “However, until that’s the case, consumers should understand two things: first, not all recalls may be well-publicized so you should check your house for previously recalled toys and second, some toys that are recalled may still be available online.”

MASSPIRG has informed the CPSC about these recalled toys as it’s illegal to sell a recalled product under current CPSC rules. The group suggests that parents also report unsafe toys or any toy-related injuries to the CPSC at saferproducts.gov.

"I want to thank MASSPIRG for its diligence informing the public annually of dangerous toys,” said Jay Livingstone State Representative, 8th Suffolk District, in a statement. “The holiday season is such a joyful time, the last thing that anyone wants is to buy a toy for a child that is going to hurt them in any way and, with MASSPIRG’s report, parents are now armed with the accurate information regarding what to avoid.”

See the full Trouble in Toyland” report here.

 

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