Toys are one of the most popular gifts this holiday season, and most children around the world are hoping to make it to the nice list this year to receive a present. However, there are children's toys that did not make it to the nice list this year according to the 35th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report of the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG).
Besides, there is the COVID-19 pandemic that people should consider when buying gifts as numerous reports are saying that it increases the risk of these toys.
Indeed, monitoring kids these days are more challenging than ever with parents juggling between virtual learning, the pandemic difficulties, and their jobs.
Be Mindful of the Toilet Paper Roll Test
Consumer watchdog associate Grace Brombach said that these days older siblings tend to spend more time at home, and some of the toys that are suited for them tend to get mixed up with their younger siblings.
For instance, the researchers found that certain toys labeled for children two years old to six years old could contain bolts or small pieces that could cause choking to younger children and might even cause their death.
According to a report from ABC 13, the PIRG recommends doing the "toilet paper test" in times when parents are not sure whether the toys they bought for their children are choking hazards or not.
This simple test is done by inserting the toys into the toilet paper tube. If it passes through the holes, then that means that the toy is small enough for children to swallow, which could choke them. Do this method, especially when considering buying toys for kids under three years old.
"It's nothing brand new, but it's really important we know these kinds of things are happening," emergency medicine pediatrician Kate Cronan, MD said regarding the cases of children choking on small toys.
Unsafe Children's Toys
The annual report also cautions parents on fuzzy animal figures like the popular Calico Critters that come with accessories, which are suspected to be the cause of death of a child in New Mexico and a near-death of another child in Utah.
However, in a statement, Calico Critters said that their products have always met or exceeded the US standards for safety. "We are confident that Calico Critters are safe and do not pose a risk to children older than the recommended age on the packaging," Calico Critters said.
Moreover, the report also mentioned the high-powered magnets that, if swallowed, can cause serious damage. But aside from checking if the toys are a choking hazard or not, the report also included in the discussion about the dangers of loud toys.
The researchers found a toy firetruck being sold on Amazon that plays sounds of over 100 decibels at its highest point. The World Health Organization has warned that exposure to 100 decibels of noise for longer periods can damage hearing.
Lastly, the report cautions people not to buy recalled toys because they have already been deemed unsafe by the regulatory bodies. For the complete list of the recalled toys, visit the safeproducts.gov to know if a toy you are buying has been recalled.
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