Sen. Blumenthal, doctors warn parents of dangerous holiday toys

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Sen. Richard Blumenthal is warning parents about the sale of dangerous toys that could include toxins, choking hazards, and data security threats. According to Connecticut Children's Hospital, every three minutes a child goes to the emergency room with a toy-related injury.

Sen. Blumenthal and representatives from ConnPIRG and the Connecticut Children's Medical Center are discussing the finding of the annual 'Trouble in Toyland' report.

The report has been created by ConnPIRG Education Fund's for the past 34 years, and is intended to provide parents and gift buyers with a guide to protect children.


Officials say this year's report focuses on three core toy safety categories: dangers parents can detect, hidden toxics and hazards, and recalled toys still for sale.

Among the products of concern that will be available for media demonstrations are ESSENSON Easter Eggs Soft Slime, Magnets Sculpture Building Blocks, party balloons, and the Kicko Toy Gun.

Parents are recommended to research what's in their children's toys and to test them out themselves.

 The Toy Association’s Statement Re: U.S. PIRG’s 2019 Trouble in Toyland Release:

U.S. PIRG uses the headline “Trouble in Toyland” for its annual report to needlessly frighten 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.

U.S. toy safety requirements include more than 100 standards and tests to ensure that toys are safe. These standards go above and beyond those for other consumer products. There are strict limits for lead and other chemicals in toys, internationally-emulated limits on sound level output, a highly effective small parts regulation that was developed with the help of pediatricians, and strict standards prohibiting the use of magnets in any toy part that is small enough to be swallowed.

Many of the items PIRG speaks of are not available, having been previously recalled (thanks to ongoing regulatory vigilance). The group also mentions several items that are not toys, such as: children’s jewelry and musical instruments, magnets, and balloons. These products are not subject to the same rigorous standards as toys and including them under a “toy” safety headline deliberately misleads parents and undermines the toy industry’s deep and ongoing commitment to safety. 

The Toy Association works year-round to educate parents and caregivers to always shop at reputable stores and verified online retailers and to exercise caution when buying toys from flea markets, unverified sellers on online marketplaces, garage sales, etc., as these vendors may not be monitoring for recalled products or might not be selling legitimate toys that comply with strict U.S. laws.

Families are encouraged to always check and follow the age-grading on toy packaging. Toys labeled 3+ may contain small parts that can be a choking hazard for children under three (or kids who still mouth toys). Use a federally-approved Small Parts Tester (available online) to test small objects found around the home – not a toilet paper roll (as PIRG suggests).

Safety is the toy industry’s top priority every day of the year, not just during the holidays. For information on recalls, toy safety, and ways to ensure safe play, families are invited to visit, The Toy Association’s safety resource for parents and caregivers.

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