AUSTIN (KXAN) — Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG) has released its 2019 “Trouble in Toyland” report defining three safety categories parents should watch for in their children’s toys: detectable dangers, hidden toxics and hazards and recalled toys.
Detectable dangers are defined by TexPIRG as toys which may cause a choking risk due to small parts which may break off or items like balloons, toys which make loud noises which could cause permanent damage to children’s hearing, magnets if swallowed and toys marketed to adults but sometimes marketed to children, like fidget spinners.
The report defines hidden toxics and hazards as toys that have illegal levels of lead, toys with boron—like play slime—and toys with cadmium which is used in metallic looking children’s jewelry.
The third category, recalled toys, is defined simply as any toy which has had a safety recall but still available for purchase either online or from some retailers.
However, an email from The Toy Association asserts that TexPIRG’s report—especially the title “Trouble in Toyland”—”needlessly frightens parents with baseless claims.”
“What PIRG doesn’t tell you (because it would not grab headlines) is that toys continue to be one of the safest consumer product categories found in the home,” writes Danielle Meyer, account executive at Kellen, a communication management firm.
The email cites that over 100 standards and tests are used to ensure the safety of toys in the market. The email also mentions there are strict limits on lead, sound levels and regulations on part sizes created with the help of pediatricians.
Meyer advises buyers be cautious of buying toys online, or at flea markets and garage sales. They also encourage parents to verify the toys are age-appropriate for their children.