It's the wonderful time of the year when parents, grandparents, and other loved ones start looking for toys to buy for the kids in their lives.
But before you put a toy in your online shopping cart, take a look at the Trouble in Toyland report by consumer advocacy group U.S. Pirg.
Since the group's last report in 2019, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission has added 10 announced new voluntary recalls for 10 dangerous toys.
The group announced that they found several toys being sold online that have been recalled for safety reasons.
"Dangerous and hazardous toys continue to slip through the cracks," said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of The Toy Association.
U.S. Pirg pointed to one toy -- a 6” Promotional Aflac Doctor Duck -- that was was recalled on August 26, 2020, because the toy buttons contained lead levels exceeding the federal standard. Despite the recall, a quick search of eBay in September revealed a full page of this stuffed animal still for sale.
A second recalled item, the Step2 Little Helper’s Children’s Grocery Shopping Cart, was recalled on February 27, 2020, after the CPSC received 22 reports of the basket breaking. The carts can break into sharp pieces, posing a laceration hazard. Another eBay search uncovered multiple listings for this toy, in both the pink and blue recalled versions.
The group even found an item that was recalled in February 2019 still on sale. The Fisher-Price Barbie Dream Camper was recalled because its foot pedal could stick and pose a crash risk to children.
Pasierb says parents can also visit playsafe.org to see if an item has been recalled.
U.S. Pirg also says gift-givers should use care when purchasing online, even if the toy says it’s meant for a 1-year-old or 2-year old Most toys that contain small parts are labeled as choking hazards. But that’s not guaranteed, as we’ve seen.
The group advises parents with young children to thoroughly inspect toys, regardless of what the label does or doesn’t say. Parents should make decisions based on how they believe their child of any age will interact with the toy.
For more toy safety tips, visit https://uspirg.org/feature/usp/trouble-toyland.