The Annual ‘Trouble In Toyland’ Report Will Stop Santa From Bringing Our Kids A Bunch Of Lethal Crap

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41Y5XnlqVlL._SY355_I am a paranoid parent; I have no problem admitting this. I am particularly terrified of my child choking on something. This is why every year I scan the annual ‘Trouble in Toyland‘ report to see which toys I should be avoiding.

Every year I read the report and I continue to be the most freaked out by choking hazards:

Choking – on small toy parts, on small balls, on marbles

and on balloons – continues to be the major cause of
toy-related deaths and injuries. Between 2001 and 2012,
more than 90 children died from choking incidents.

A lot of the toys that make it to list are there because of insufficient labeling. Either there is no “small parts” warning, or the label has been obscured. This proves it’s really important to not solely rely on package warnings to make purchasing decisions – we also have to use our eyes and common sense. If you look at a toy and have apprehensions because you feel it may contain parts that are too small – don’t buy it. Just because something says 3+ on it – doesn’t necessarily mean it’s safe for your toddler. Use your judgment.

I was also surprised at how many “food toys” contain really small parts. This is a double whammy; the toy is small enough to potentially be a choking hazard and it also looks like food. Not good. Don’t purchase toys that look like food if they are small enough to fit in your kid’s mouth.

Balloons are the worst:

Balloons cause a grave choking hazard to children, causing more choking death than any other children’s product. In 2012 there were two deaths involving balloons. More than 40 percent of the choking fatalities reported to the CPSC between 2001 and 2012 involved balloons.

Choking hazards are things that can be recognized – unlike harmful substances and decibel levels. If you find yourself thinking, “why the hell is that so loud” when your kid is playing with something – it may actually be damaging their hearing. The report lists toys that exceed decibel level recommendations as well as toys that contain harmful levels of substances like lead and phthalates.

You can download and view the complete list of toys here.