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NY Research Group Cautions Parents About Toy Safety

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(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

(Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

metaxas John Metaxas
John Metaxas is an award-winning news reporter and anchor at ...
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NEW YORK (CBS 2/WCBS 880) — Choking hazards and toxic chemicals are among the dangers outlined in a New York group’s annual report on toy safety.

The New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) said parents need to be on the lookout for toys that could potentially end up harming their children, CBS 2’s John Metaxas reported.

NYPIRG said it found several toys for sale in New York that it labeled as potentially dangerous — including “Baby’s First Train” — in its “Trouble in Toyland” report.

“We were alerted to this toy because a DC area mother had to perform the Heimlich maneuver on her 1-year-old child,” Megan Ahern of NYPIRG said.

The group said parents should use common sense when evaluating whether toys are safe for their children. Even though certain products comply with federal regulations, they may be marked with a disclaimer label warning of a choking hazard inside.

NYPIRG also encouraged parents to use the toilet roll test. If the small piece fits inside of a toilet roll, it is likely a choking hazard for toddlers.

WCBS 880’s Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau spoke with consumer advocate Jennifer Hatch, who had some advice for parents.


WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reports

“Take a look at toys that use soft plastic,” Hatch said.

Hatch said a chemical used to soften the plastic can be toxic.

The “Bright Start Travel Tails” book also came under scrutiny from NYPIRG, who said it contained twice the amount of the carcinogen antimony allowed by law.

“This toy was found at both Toys ‘R’ Us at 42nd Street in Manhattan as well as Acorn toys on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn,” Zachary Miller of NYPIRG said.

A spokesperson for Toys ‘R’ Us insisted to CBS 2 that “the product is widely sold and is safe.”

A spokesperson for the Toy Industry Association also told CBS 2 that toys have never been safer.

“The Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 has mandated testing [and] stricter standards than ever,” Adrienne Appell said.

NYPIRG acknowledged recent legislation has made toys much safer, but said parents still needed to be vigilant.

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