JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Play slime and toys with small pieces top the list of this year's hazardous holiday products. A consumer advocacy group just released its 33rd annual "Trouble in Toyland" report. While they say products are safer than ever before, there are still toys with serious issues that you may want to avoid.
The "Trouble in Toyland" report is compiled and released each year by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) Foundation.
"No parent should have to worry if a toy is unsafe or toxic when they go to toy store or shop online," said Danny Katz, the director of CoPIRG. "Unfortunately, this year, we still found a number of toys that we are warning consumers and parents to be aware of."
BUYER BEWARE: View the complete 'Trouble in Toyland' report
This year, the group reviewed 40 toys and found 15 with issues, including those with small parts that can be deemed choking hazards. They also found some new concerns, such as popular slime toys that have high concentrations of the potentially-harmful chemical boron.
For instance, the report found six different slime toys that contained high levels of boron, which can be hazardous if ingested. Products that contain small doses of the chemical, less than 3.68 parts per million, are not considered harmful.
But high doses of the compound can cause nausea and vomiting and have long-term effects. Some of the toys spotlighted by Trouble in Toyland include Kanaroos Original Super Cool Slime, sold on Amazon, which contains roughly 4,700 parts per million of boron.
Other toys spotlighted in the report include Hatchimals and L.O.L. Surprise toys, which contain small parts that pose a choking risk for young children. Balloons also are choking hazards and should not be given to children younger than 8.
Small, powerful magnets can cause serious intestinal damage if swallowed, and the Haktoys Bump & Go Action F-182 Fighter Jet produced continuous sound in excess of 85 decibels in repeated tests, according to the report.
The group also warned that so-called “connected toys” may disclose private data and even violate children’s privacy laws. Amazon, which had its Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition cited for possible sharing of data, said the product is in full compliance with the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act.
"We do not share children's data with third parties," Amazon said in a written statement.
The Toy Association responded to this years list in a lengthy statement. It reads in part:
"U.S. PIRG calls their annual report “Trouble in Toyland” – but their report doesn’t indicate any trouble at all. In fact, many of the items previously recalled (thanks to ongoing regulatory vigilance) and named by the group are NOT toys (e.g. children’s furniture, balloons, and other accessories, etc.). The inclusion of these products in a supposed “toy” safety report is deliberately misleading and frightening to parents and undermines the toy industry’s deep and ongoing commitment to ensuring that toys are safe.
What PIRG doesn’t tell you (because it would not grab headlines) is that toys are among the safest consumer product categories found in the home. U.S. toy safety requirements are 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. All toys sold in the U.S., regardless of where they are produced, must be tested and certified compliant before reaching store shelves or consumers."