Friday, November 23rd, 2012
The U.S. Public Interest Research Organization has released its 27th annual “Trouble in Toyland” survey, which has found on store shelves a number of toys that are known to be dangerous or made of toxic materials. The offending toys include those that pose choking or laceration hazards, contain toxic chemicals like lead and BPA that are associated with health risks, or exceed recommended limits for safe noise levels around young ears.
Parents are urged to carefully read all printed warnings on toys they are planning to purchase this holiday season, and to review the report to educate themselves on the warning signs of a dangerous toy.
CNN.com has more:
Over the years, the organization said, its reports have led to more than 150 recalls and other regulatory actions.
This year’s list “includes a potentially dangerous magnet toy, a bowling game that is a choking hazard and a key chain rattle that may be harmful to little ears,” it said.
Researchers visited national toy stores, malls and dollar stores in September, October and November this year to look for potential toxic, choking, strangulation and noise hazards.
“We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that’s the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys,” said Nasima Hossain, public health advocate for Public Interest Research Group, in a release detailing the report.
The Toy Industry Association, which represents more than 500 manufacturers in the United States, said, “Safety is our top priority all year,” and a spokesman called the group’s survey “another of its needlessly frightening reports.”
Image: Child in toy store, via Shutterstock
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Friday, December 16th, 2011
Meredith, the parent company of Parents.com, has announced a promotion available to readers of Parents and Parents News Now. Simply enroll your MasterCard on our “Here’s to Mom” contest page, use your card to shop online between now and December 31, and earn a $20 MasterCard gift card plus other gifts when you spend $200 on your purchases.
Click here for more on the promotion. And happy holidays from Parents News Now!
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Wednesday, December 7th, 2011
Parents who are contemplating what to buy their children for the holidays have a new option: toy rentals. A growing number of companies are offering rental toys using the Netflix model of monthly fees and easy returns, so that families can have fun opening holiday gifts, but not permanently overflow the toy room. An MSNBC.com blog reports:
Call it the season of regiving. Toy rental is part of a growing trend in recent years for renting everything from designer handbags to big-screen TVs.
It’s about stretching your holiday dollars further, said Nikki Pope, founder and CEO of Toygaroo, a toy rental company with 11 employees that launched a year-and-a-half ago.
“We don’t do tricycles and dollhouses, but we do filler toys that moms and dads feel pressured to put under the tree,” she said. Things like puzzles, educational electronic games, and wooden toys.
Pope compared her company to DVD rental giant Netflix. Members pay from $24.99 a month for four toys up to $50 for eight toys, and every box that ships contains $120 to $300 in merchandise. Toys offered include everything from products that carry well-known brand names such as Fisher-Price to items from lesser-known toy makers that don’t show up at Toys R Us. If a customer wants to swap out a toy during any given month that can be done for an additional charge.
Image: Christmas gifts, via Shutterstock.
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