With only days before so-called Black Friday, a group releases a report on unsafe toys. Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group says too much lead in toys continues to be a problem.
WISPIRG says adequate regulation and parents’ common sense can help ensure the safety of children's toys. Trevor Hutchenson of WISPIRG says "toys are safer than they've ever been before" but there continue to be recalls; a change in law allows those recalls to be initiated faster. A list of potentially harmful toys can be found at the government website safetoys.gov. On that website are also consumer complaints. One dated last year gripes about the volume on a pretend musical instrument: Dora Tunes Guitar by Fischer Price.
Retail store reviews say "children love it; parents may find it annoying especially since there's no way to control the volume." WISPIRG says hearing experts recommend toys have a volume level of less than 80 decibels. Another item in WISPIRG's annual survey of toy safety was the Morphobot made by GreenBrier International. Hutcheson says it tested as having lead level above government standards. Lead is considered is neurotoxin, "This is a toy you definitely want to make sure you're paying attention to and know that we've haven't sent all the toys in the whole country to the lab. There are definitely toys on the shelves that could contain lead and aren't meeting the standards of 100 ppm".
Other hazards WISPIRG warned against: magnets that could be swallowed. The Consumer Protection Safety Commission reported that between 2009 and 2011 there were 1,700 emergency room cases nationwide involving someone who swallowed a magnet.