COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) — Consumer watchdogs said dangerous toys could be purchased online and were warning parents ahead of the holidays.
The Public Information Research Group (PIRG) released their yearly Trouble in Toyland report this week. It highlighted some of the recalled toys they were able to purchase brand new, days, weeks, months or even years after they’ve been deemed dangerous by regulators.
NC PIRG State Director Katie Craig said she hopes this report is a wake up call.
“We know it will take all of us, from toy manufacturers, retailers, regulators, lawmakers, consumer advocates and families, to do what it takes to protect our children,” Craig said.
According to the report, as recently as October, they bought and were shipped 30 recalled toys from second-hand sites like Ebay and Facebook Marketplace.
The most common reason toys are recalled is for excessive levels of toxic chemicals or choking hazards.
Officials said in 2020 there were 198,000 toy-related injuries reported in the US.
Dr. Jeff Holloway with Prisma Health Children’s Hospital Midlands said parents should double check any toys they’re planning on giving as gifts or even toys their children already have.
Holloway said some injuries caused by recalled toys could be serious, “Unfortunately, some of them can be pretty detrimental between the swallowing, choking can be fatal and some of the things like the batteries and magnet ingestion can cause irreversible damage to the insides we hope to avoid.”
Another issue the report highlights are counterfeit toys. PIRG consumer advocates said some of these toys pop up online and even make it on store shelves in the US.
Their concern is counterfeit toys don’t meet mandatory US safety standards.
Bridgette Watson with Safe Kids Upstate said, “It comes down to us advocating for safety standards and we proactively check these toys.”