Avoiding buying dangerous toys involves more than checking a list of product recalls.
The annual “Trouble in Toyland” report from the Illinois Public Interest Research Group looks for toys with toxic chemicals or choking hazards which remain on store shelves.
Small parts which a child can swallow tend to be the most common problem. Illinois PIRG director Abe Scarr says parents can use a simple test to determine whether a toy may be trouble for a toddler.
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“Thankfully, everybody has a larger cylinder handy in their household, which is the standard toilet paper roll,” Scarr said. “If a toy or part of a toy fits into this cylinder, it should not be around children under 3.”
Scarr says some of the concerns outlined in earlier reports have been addressed, like a ban on small, powerful toy magnets which can make a child sick if swallowed. But he also warns that not all toys comply with laws, and some dangerous items may still be on sale.