Your favorite son, daughter, niece, nephew, neighbor’s cousin, or other kid in your life has made a list, written to Santa, and proclaimed their wants out loud to anyone who will listen. So now it’s time for shopping. What will you buy? What they want? What you think looks like fun? We can’t tell you outright what to buy, but those playing Santa should be aware of the results of the Trouble in Toyland 33rd Annual Survey of Toy Safety Results.
This report is chalk full of important toy safety information for anyone doing toy shopping. Published annually by the Public Interest Research Group, this report reviews the toys on the market and their safety as it pertains to children. With more than 251,000 toy related injuries reported at hospitals in 2017 alone, the report holds important information for anyone who shops for children. It looks for toy safety issues such as as toxic chemicals, choking hazards, smart toys, excessive noise producers, and overheating batteries and chargers.
This year some highlights of the report including warnings about:
- Slime toys: Many of these toys contain boron, a compound used in manufacturing and cleaning chemicals. In the EU 300 parts per million (ppm) is acceptable in consumer level items but there is no labeling or warning here in the US and some slime toys have as much as 4700 ppm. When ingested this can lead to nausea and vomiting along with other physical side effects.
- Internet connected toys: Some internet connected toys are leaving children vulnerable with offloading of information. The Dash for Kids Robot and the Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition have both been found conveying information to third parties.
- E-Scooters: New e-scooters can go up to 10-15 miles per hour and have smaller wheels than traditional scooters. They’ve lead to a considerable number of collisions and injuries as there is no set design criteria and very few ordinances and regulations regarding their usage.
- Hoverboards: We’ve discussed this one before due to their batteries but they’re still an issue. Since 2015 2.5 million hoverboards have been sold. Many are in use by children 12-15 years old, a large segment of those toy related hospital reported injuries. Beyond the battery issues, these kids are suffering from head injuries and fractures.
Listen in as Kevin King discusses this report, toy safety issues pertaining to children, and a few toy safety issues pertaining to parents as well.
Want to hear more talks from Peter and Kevin King? Tune into WCIS 1010 AM Columbus, IN the first and third Friday of every month for People’s Law Talk.
There are additional great resources for toy and children safety:
WISPIRG, Trouble in Toyland
The Mozilla Foundation, Privacy Not Included, https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/ privacynotincluded, (accessed on 11 December 2018).
The Mozilla Foundation, Privacy Not Included: Dash the Robot, https://foundation. mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/products/ dash-the-robot/, (accessed on 11 December 2018).
The Mozilla Foundation, Privacy Not Included: Amazon Fire HD Kids Edition, https://foundation.mozilla.org/en/privacynotincluded/products/amazon-fire-hd-kids-edition/, (accessed on 11 December 2018).
Center for Digital Democracy, Protecting Children’s Online Privacy: A Parent’s Guide to the new stronger kids’ privacy rules for digital media (COPPA), https://www.democraticmedia.org/content/protecting-childrens-online-privacy-parents-guide-new-stronger-kids-privacy-rules-digital, (accessed on 11 December 2018).