Just in time for the holiday shopping season, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) is releasing its report on the most dangerous recalled toys of the year.
The scariest part? These toys may still be available to purchase.
The 37th edition of the group’s Trouble in Toyland report continues to spread awareness of the potential dangers facing children during the holiday months. Since the mid-80s, the report has also put a major focus on potentially dangerous recalled toys that can still be purchased through resellers, or even retail sites.
“These are toys that are posing either choking hazards, or have unsafe levels of toxins in them … they could be toys that tip over easily, and can injure kids,” explained Danny Katz, the executive director of Colorado PIRG. “These are toys that have been identified as dangerous, have been recalled, but we have actually still found them and been able to purchase them online.”
Of the toys recalled since the beginning of 2022, the U.S. PIRG Education fund managed to buy 11 different items — some of them from multiple different sellers — that should not have been available to consumers.
The toys are below, along with links to their recall notices posted with the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Activity Loops by The Manhattan Toy Co, found to present a choking hazard
- Aflac Plush Promotional Ducks by Communicorp, recalled due to excessive levels of toxic phthalates
- Army Action Figure Playsets by Blue Panda, recalled due to excessive levels of toxic phthalates and lead
- Blue’s Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys by Huffy Corp., recalled due to a tipping and injury hazard
- DigitDots 3mm and 5mm Magnetic Balls by HD Premier, found to present a health risk if magnets are swallowed
- Disney Baby Winnie the Pooh Rattle Sets from Walgreens, recalled due to a choking hazard
- Early Learning Centre Little Senses Lights & Sounds Shape Sorter Toys by Addo Play, recalled due to a choking hazard
- Forky 11” Plush Toys from Disney Pixar’s “Toy Story,” recalled due to a choking hazard
- Kidoozie Play Tents and Playhouses by Epoch Everlasting Play, recalled because a material did not meet flammability standards
- Kid O Hudson® Glow Rattles by PlayMonster, recalled due to a choking hazard
- Ubbi Connecting Bath Toys by Pearhead, recalled due to laceration and choking hazards
PIRG claims they were able to buy many of these toys on Facebook Marketplace, and multiple on eBay, as well as other online marketplaces. But several were still available through online retailers.
“The vast majority were new in the box or new with tags,” according to U.S. PIRG.
About 200,000 people go to an emergency room each year because of toy-related injuries or illnesses, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. But PIRG claims many who are injured by toys don’t seek medical treatment, and that the real number of likely higher.
“That number has been declining slightly over the last decade, but clearly, that number of injuries is unacceptable and is a call to action,” PIRG wrote.
In addition to highlighting recalled toys that may still be available for purchase, PIRG’s 37th edition of the Trouble in Toyland report also seeks to spread awareness of counterfeit toys — some from overseas — which may not meet U.S. industry standards for safety.
“The most common risks come from toys that are imported and may slip under the radar,” reads the report, which warns parents to be diligent about testing and verifying the origin of the toys. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection can’t open every container and test every toy.”
PIRG’s full report, available here, contains more tips for parents on avoiding common dangers such as choking hazards, hidden toxins and privacy concerns, among others.