Watchdog Group Offers Latest Dangerous-Toy List

Jim Gudas
November 20, 2018 - 3:19 pm

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Just in time for the holiday shopping season, safety experts are warning about dangerous and hazardous toys for sale.

The Illinois PIRG Education Fund has released its 33rd annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, which found toxic amounts of boron in slime products and a failure by some online retailers to appropriately label choking hazards.

Boron can cause nausea, vomiting and other health issues.

“No one should worry about whether or not the toy they’re buying is toxic or dangerous. But in 2018, we’re still finding hazards in some of the most popular toys. Toy manufacturers must do better to ensure their products are safe before they end up in children’s hands and mouths,” said Abe Scarr, Illinois PIRG Education Fund Director.

Among the findings in this year's report, some toys:

Lack choking warnings. In a survey of five search pages for balloons sold online, PIRG claims it found no choking hazard labels on 87 percent of the latex balloons marketed to parents of children under 2, an apparent violation of the law. PIRG claims among children’s products, balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death.

Invade privacy. Two smart toys, a robot toy and a tablet, raised privacy concerns after an investigation by the Mozilla Foundation. Every year, the potential for smart toys to expose private data becomes a more significant concern.

“We continue to see a steady stream of toddlers and young children who have swallowed or choked on small toys or toy parts coming into the emergency department. In more dangerous situations, children who swallow powerful magnets or button batteries need surgery for removal,” said

Also posing potential problems are toys for older children that have wheels, such as rollerblades, skateboards and motorized ride-on toys, says Dr. Michelle Macy, an emergency room physician at Lurie Children's Hospital.

PIRG provides a guide on how parents, grandparents and other caretakers can ensure toys are safe and stay updated on recalled toys at