Trouble in Toyland

Erich Healy  / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Cassie Tomlin, representative for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), presents the groups findings in as part of their 25th Annual Survey of Toy Safety in Tucson Medical Centers Pediatric Emergency Lobby Tuesday, November 23rd. The survey contains information on choking hazards and harmful chemicals such as lead and antimony, as well as the state of US policy concerning toy hazards.

Erich Healy / Arizona Daily Wildcat Cassie Tomlin, representative for the Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), presents the group’s findings in as part of their 25th Annual Survey of Toy Safety in Tucson Medical Center’s Pediatric Emergency Lobby Tuesday, November 23rd. The survey contains information on choking hazards and harmful chemicals such as lead and antimony, as well as the state of US policy concerning toy hazards.

Rebecca Rillos

As shoppers gear up for Black Friday, the Trouble in Toyland report gives some suggestions as to what shouldn’t be on Santa’s list.

The 25th annual Trouble in Toyland report, released Tuesday, alerts consumers to the potentially dangerous toys on store shelves.

“”Trouble in Toyland helps identify some of the choking and toxic hazards that are on toy shelves in Arizona and across the country,”” said Diane E. Brown, executive director of Arizona Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund. “”The information is designed to let parents and other consumers know what to look out for so that the holiday season is full of pleasure and not pain for a young child.””

The Arizona PIRG Education Fund releases the report every year on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving, just in time to alert consumers before the holiday shopping rush. The report details the main dangers of toys: choking hazards and toxins such as lead, antimony and phthalates.

“”Choking hazards are the leading cause of (toy-related) death and injury, with the exception of motorized vehicles,”” said Cassie Tomlin, a representative of Arizona PIRG Education Fund who delivered the report at a news conference at Tucson Medical Center.

Tomlin demonstrated the hazards of some of the toys in this year’s report, including a “”Dora the Explorer”” backpack containing toxic phthalates. Tomlin explained that the Consumer Product Safety Commission only regulates phthalates in toys intended for teething or mouthing.

“”Just because it’s not made to be put in someone’s mouth doesn’t mean a child won’t put their mouth on it,”” Tomlin said.

Another toy detailed in the report was a Fisher Price “”Handy Manny”” construction playset. The set contains small parts but no choking hazard warning. Tomlin demonstrated a choke test cylinder the Consumer Product Safety Commission uses on small parts. A part in the playset was slightly larger than the test cylinder.

“”Children have still choked on toys that don’t fit in the cylinder,”” Tomlin said. “”A toilet paper roll is a more reliable test.””

The news conference also focused on the new website, toysafety.mobi.

“”The website will provide tips for parents and other consumers, a copy of the report and will also allow parents and other consumers the opportunity to report a toy that they may think is unsafe for further investigation,”” Brown said.