Consumers should keep an eye on what they purchase this holiday season, as recalled toys may still be available in online stores, a new report says.
In its annual "Trouble in Toyland" report, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group Education Fund alerts consumers to recalled toys from January 2015 to October 2016 that may still be in their home, or available for sale online.
"We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, consumers should understand two things: first, not all recalls may be well-publicized so you should check your house for previously recalled toys and second, some toys that are recalled may still be available online," said Dev Gowda with U.S. PIRG in a statement.
Some of the toys included on the list that are available online include a toy glockenspiel recalled due to high lead levels in the paint; a remote controlled-flying toy with a USB charging cord that can overheat and a pencil case containing two magnets that can detach from the case’s lid. Each of the items is said to pose health risks for children.
In a statement, the Toy Industry Association refuted the PIRG’s report, saying many of the items are juvenile products like hoverboards and children's jewelry and are not toys.
"U.S. PIRG calls their annual report "Trouble in Toyland" – but their 2016 report doesn’t indicate any trouble at all," the group said.
The inclusion of things like pacifier clips and other 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."
The group cited U.S. toy safety requirements as "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."
The Trouble in Toyland list has been published for over 30 years, and has led to over 150 recalls and other enforcement actions, according to a press release from U.S. PIRG. The research group says that it has notified the Consumer Product Safety Commission about potential sales of recalled products, which it says is illegal under the CPSC’s rules. It also urges consumers to remain aware of recalled toys that may still be in their homes.
In their statement, the Toy Industry Association urged consumers to “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.”