Dangerous toys could still be on store shelves. Some toys contain nearly twice the amount of lead that's considered safe, they could end up under your Christmas tree this year. For the 23rd year in a row, the US Public Interest Group released their Christmas safety report... Basically, it says there's trouble in toyland. It's time once again to make your Christmas list, but be sure you check it twice...especially if you're shopping for little kids. You should check for toys that contain toxic phthalates, a chemical the safety board says poses serious risks to your child's health.
West Texas A&M Microbiologist Carolyn Bouma says, "The concern with phthalates recently is that they may disrupt the reproductive hormones and may disrupt the development of the reproductive organs." The toys to watch out for are heavily painted and have bendable plastic, especially those with a "Made in China" sticker. Congress is requiring toys containing certain levels of phthalates and lead to be taken off of the shelves, but here's the catch... They don't have to be removed until February, so you'll still find many of them on the shelves today.
Toys containing chemicals aren't the only ones to watch out for...be wary of toys with small parts too. The most dangerous choking hazard out there, according to the safety board, are pieces of the Littlest Pet Shop collection. There is an easy way to tell if a Christmas gift is safe for a little kid. All it takes is an empty toilet paper roll. If any part of the toy can fit inside the roll, it's not safe for a child under three. Most of the Littlest Pet Shop items fit inside that roll. If you want to review the report and other consumer tips, you can go to:
Silly Fish Squirters made by Toysmith in China. Hazard: toxic phthalates.
Pony Land Scented Pony Pet made by JA-RU Inc. in China. Hazard: toxic phthalates.
Red Plastic Super Car made by Four Seasons General Merchandise in China. Hazard: lead paint.
Halloween Skull Earring made by Fashion Earrings (AT) in China. Hazard: lead in metal.
Key chain with locket; manufacturer unknown. Hazard: lead in metal.