Trouble in Toyland report reveals toys to avoid this year

This Friday is the biggest shopping day of the year. If children’s gifts are on your list, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group wants you to read through its Trouble in Toyland recall list before heading to the store.

We all love a great deal. Shoppers are already lining up outside stores for Black Friday sales. When it comes to purchasing gifts for children, the Public Interest Research Group wants you to take your time. What you buy could put your most precious possession at risk of injury or death.

"It is critical to be sure you are not purchasing a product that has dangers that could not be sold through normal retail,” said U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett.

U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett joined the Texas PIRG to unveil the latest Trouble in Toyland report. It consists of 44 items recalled since January of 2015.

"We found that 16 of the 44 toys were available for sale on websites potentially from these recalled batches,” said spokesperson Helaina Peck. To view the entire report click here.

Spokesperson Helaina peck showed us three of the recalled items still available for sale. One was a bean bag chair.

"Children are able to un-zip and crawl inside where they may suffocate or choke on the foam beads,” said Peck.

A bike by The Chillafish Company was recalled for having over-inflated tires that can pop and expel flying pieces of plastic and other shards.

A toy helicopter by Aero Spin and Aero Cruz Sky Rover toys was recalled because the charger can overheat and start a fire.

While recalls offer some protection, the PIRG says safety lies primarily in the parent or caregivers' hands as choking remains the leading cause of toy-related deaths in children. 108 kids died between 2001 and 2014.

"We tell parents and caretakers that it is much more reliable to test whether a toy poses a threat by using a larger test cylinder. Fortunately it is one most people have in their homes and it is what is in my hand paper towel roll or toilet paper roll. If a toy fits through it it's unsafe for children under the age of three,” said Peck.

"There is much the congress can and should do but there's nothing like having informed parents and toy purchasers thinking about that youngest child so that this holiday season can be a truly enjoyable one,” said Doggett.

Toy Industry Association Statement Re: U.S. PIRG's 2016 Trouble in Toyland Report

U.S. PIRG calls their annual report "Trouble in Toyland" - but their 2016 report doesn't indicate any trouble at all. In fact, many of the items previously recalled as a result of ongoing regulatory vigilance and named by the group are juvenile products and NOT toys (e.g. children's jewelry, pacifier clips, etc.). The inclusion of these products in a supposed "toy" safety report undermines the toy industry's deep and ongoing commitment to ensuring that toys are among the safest consumer product categories found in the home. U.S. toy safety requirements are among the strictest in the world, with more than 100+ standards and tests in place to ensure that all toys found on store shelves are safe.

Parents and caregivers should always shop at reputable stores and online retailers that they know and trust, and exercise caution when buying toys at flea markets, garage sales, second-hand / thrift stores, etc., as these vendors may not be monitoring for recalled products. Families are also encouraged to stay up-to-date on toy recalls to ensure that all recalled products are kept out of their homes - and out of children's hands.

Safety is the toy industry's top priority every day of the year. For information on recalls, toy safety and ways to ensure safe play, families are invited to visit PlaySafe.org, the Toy Industry Association's safety resource for parents and caregivers.

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