'Trouble in Toyland:' Consumer group warns about toy hazards - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

'Trouble in Toyland:' Consumer group warns about toy hazards

WASHINGTON. - Check those toys for hazards before they go under the holiday tree.
      
Consumer advocates are warning shoppers to look out for small parts, loud sounds, soft plastics and lead contamination. The warning comes in the U.S. Public Interest Research Group's annual "Trouble in Toyland" report.
      
The report says choking is the number one cause of toy-related deaths and injuries.

"In the past two years, at least 13 children have choked to death on balloons, balls, toys or parts of toys," said Elizabeth Hitchcok of the Public Interest Research Group.

Hitchcock added that not all toys carry the required choking warning. If a toy can fit into a toilet paper tube it's too small for children under three.
      
The group focused on loud toys because nearly 15 percent of children between 6-years-old and 17-years-old show signs of hearing loss.

Another hazard, lead contamination, can cause learning disabilities and at very high levels, seizures, coma and death.

This year, there have been 38 Consumer Product Safety Commission toy recalls, which is down from more than 160 in 2008.

PIRG has launched a new interactive mobile phone tool and web site to help shoppers check on possible hazards while in the store. To check that web site, head to www.toysafety.mobi on your mobile device.

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