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Check children’s holiday lists for dangerous toys

As children in Red Bank send their holiday wish lists off to the North Pole this season, parents may want to pay attention to some warnings regarding dangerous toys. Unfortunately, many toys that will be gifted to children this season are simply not safe.

The Public Interest Research Group publishes a list of dangerous toys each year, and this year the organization is particularly concerned with toys that present choking risks or potential lead poisoning concerns.

Making the organization’s list for choking hazards are toys with very small parts, small ball-type toys and small round food toys. Parents may be surprised by some of the specific toys in this category, because many of them are made by brand name toy companies and they are being sold by big name retailers. For example, the organization warns parents not to by a  “Loving Family Outdoor Barbecue” by Fisher-Price that is being sold at Kmart.

Other toys that bear popular kids characters – like a Ninja Turtles Pencil Case and a Captain America Soft Shied – contain excessive levels of lead or other toxins. The Captain America item has 29 times the legally allowable amount of lead, according to an NBC News report.

Parents may see reports like these and wonder how such toys are ending up in the marketplace. The U.S. does have strict toy safety laws, but unfortunately a number of toys that do not meet safety standards do fall through the cracks, landing on the shelves. So far this year, there have been 13 toy recalls.

Manufacturers do have a duty to ensure that the children’s products they make are not dangerous or hazardous. When dangerous toys end up in the hands of children and children suffer injuries, it is important for their parents to seek legal guidance. It is often possible for New Jersey parents to hold companies accountable for such injuries under product liability law.

Source: NBC News, “Play at your own risk: dangerous toys of 2013,” Ben Popken, Nov, 26, 2013

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