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Arizona PIRG Education Fund reminds consumers to be cautious while shopping this holiday season

12/3/2015

Elenee Dao
Cronkite News

PHOENIX – With Christmas in one month, buying toys will be at the top of the list for many parents.
Toys can be fun for children, but they can also cause trouble. Anthony Pickett M.D., an emergency room physician at Phoenix Children’s Hospital says that it is easy for kids to get hurt with toys.

“Parents give toys to children that have many moving parts or sets of Legos and all it takes is for a split second – for a parent to look away and a child pops something in their mouth and it can easily be choked on,” Pickett said.

The Disney Pixar Finding Nemo Dory Figurine, for example, can break apart and the pieces become choking hazards, according to the annual study by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group. The G2 Mini Football has a small piece that comes free. Slinky Jr. has too much chromium, as does the Minions Locking Pencil Case.

Every year, the Arizona Public Interest Research Group Education Fund releases the report listing toys that are potentially hazardous to children.

Jenifer Wong, a member of the Arizona PIRG Education Fund, said, “In 2014, 19 toys were recalled from store shelves because they posed a choking hazard for children.”

From 2001 to 2013, out of 253 toy-related deaths, 106 were from choking.

Any toy that can fit into a special choke-testing cylinder that the Arizona PIRG Education Fund uses could lodge in a toddler’s throat. However, even without the official test, parents can take precautions.

“If any toy can fit into a toilet paper roll, then it is too small for a child under the age of 3,” Wong said.

Other dangerous toys in the report include magnets that can cause internal damage if swallowed, toys with toxic metals such as chromium and lead, and toys that can damage hearing with loud noises.

For a full list of unsafe toys and tips to buy the right toys, visit toysafety.org.