Dangerous toys of 2018

Every year, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund publishes a report detailing findings from a survey on toy safety.

This year, the PIRG’s survey included 40 toys. Of those, 15 were found to be potentially unsafe or hazardous due to:

  • Choking hazards
  • Small parts
  • Balloons (which pose the greatest threat of a choking)
  • Magnets (potentially dangerous if swallowed)
  • The presence of boron
  • The presence of lead
  • Being potentially privacy-invasive (in some smart toys or connected toys)

Thousands of new toys are manufactured every year. The PIRG survey only looked at 40 of them. Here are some of the toys that were mentioned in the report:

Slime toys

Many “slime” toys were found to contain boron, an element that can be harmful to the body:

  • Kangaroos Original Super Cool Slime
  • Kidsco Glow In The Dark Slime
  • Toysmith Jupiter Juice Slime
  • iBaseToy Fluffy Slime
  • Haniex Soft Magic Crystal Slime
  • Meland Fluffy Slime

The Kangaroos Original Super Cool Slime, for example, contained 15 times the limit of boron that is allowed in the European Union.

Small parts

Toys found to contain small parts, which can present a choking hazard, include:

  • O.L. Surprise
  • Pearl Surprise
  • Hatchimals Fabula Forest

Privacy-invasive toys

Technology is everywhere, toys included. Some toys have been found to collect personal data from users – which, by and large, are children. Two toys that have found to be privacy invasive include:

  • Wonder Workshop’s toy robot, Dash
  • Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition

Toys are safer than ever

The good news, according to the report, is that toys are safer than ever, thanks to product safety advocates, state and local governments, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and other groups.

However, we know that toys can cause health problems, injuries or death. The number of toy-related deaths reported to the CPSC by year were:

  • 2016, 7 deaths
  • 2015, 11 deaths
  • 2014, 16 deaths
  • 2013, 12 deaths
  • 2012, 15 deaths

While deaths are rare, injuries are much more common. Additionally, many toys still contain dangerous chemicals that are harmful to the body. It is important for parents to be informed consumers when it comes to purchasing toys for their children. The Toy Association as well as the PIRG keep a list of recalled toys.

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