As you shop for kids’ toys, be wary of the ones that can do some harm.
The 33rd annual Trouble in Toyland report from Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group (WISPIRG) focuses on those toys again, this year.
The group’s report highlights toys that can prove to be dangerous — even deadly — to kids without proper use or warning.
Products like something as simple as slime, which can contain the chemical boron. That’s one of those chemicals that’s toxic, even deadly to children, according to WISPIRG’s Emma Fisher.
“Despite action by Canada, the European Union and other nations, the U.S. currently has no limit on Boron in children’s products,” Fisher said. “When ingested, even in small doses, it can cause nausea and vomiting and long term reproductive health issues according to the EPA.”
About a half-dozen versions of slime contain boron — all of which are widely available at Amazon and Wal-Mart, the holidays’ two biggest retailers.
The group also repeats past warnings about choking hazards in balloons. WISPIRG found 87 percent of balloons on Amazon, marketed to parents of little kids, lacked mandatory choking hazard warning labels.
The oversight is not excusable, says Fisher.
“Amazon’s one of the world’s largest sellers, so they should be able to insure that all products — whether sold directly by the company or through vendors — includes a legally required warning,” Fisher said.
Besides other classics, like easy to swallow magnets and play makeup with asbestos, the report also highlights privacy concerns with internet connected toys, like Dash the Robot, which connects kids via Bluetooth to various apps which may actually be collecting private data.