Trouble in Toyland - Annual Report of Dangerous Toys Released

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One organization is warning about the hazards of popular gifts this holiday season such as fidget spinners that may contain high amounts of lead and hoverboards that could catch on fire. 

As the holiday shopping season gets into full swing, the California Public Interest Research Group's Education Fund has released its annual Trouble in Toyland report. The report is meant to warn parents about toys that have small parts that children may accidentally swallow, or toys that keep a digital fingerprint on your child's activities.

``We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe,'' said Emily Rusch, executive director of the CALPIRG Education Fund. ``However, until that's the case, toy buyers need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for children's parents.''

Some of the toys being warned about by the report include "My Friend Cayla," a doll on sale at Wal-Mart and Kohls. Cayla has already been banned in Germany for privacy violations and is the subject of complaints by several consumer groups because the doll may violate the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act. 

Toys with small parts are also included in the report. Despite a ban on small parts on toys for children under the age of three, several toys found at Dollar Tree may not include a required warning label. Balloons were also included in the report because they are responsible for more choking deaths among children than any other toy or product. 

Fidget spinners containing dangerously high levels of lead were found for sale at Target. On November 10th, Target announced that they would be removing those two fidget spinner sets from its store shelves, but that may not be the case at all stores. 

``It's important for us to look beyond what's flashy and trendy when buying toys for children,'' said Dr. Alan Nager, director of emergency and transport medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles. ``We need to consider what's safe. The majority of toy-related deaths continue to be choking on small toy parts, such as marbles, balloons and small balls. That said, there are active precautions we can take to avoid preventable, toy-related trips to the Emergency Department.''

The full report is available at

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