Toys deemed dangerous for children, some even recalled, can be found online for sale right now.
Toys can be recalled for a number of reasons. Whether it’s lead found in paint, powerful magnets that could be dangerous if swallowed, or a variety of other issues, many of the toys banned for sale in the United States can easily be purchased online.
“If you’re looking for your toys on Ebay, Craigslist, somewhere where it is consumer-to-consumer, it bypasses some of the regulatory and safety regulations,” said Doctor Kurt Kralovich, a surgeon with Beaumont Health.
Kralovich said the dangers of the second-hand toy market is one reason parents need to be extremely vigilant around the Holidays.
The Public Interest Research Group Education Fund’s 31st annual “Trouble in Toyland” report was revealed this week. It found a number of toys recalled over the past year that are now readily available for purchase online.
“Some recalls are not well-publicized, so parents should check their house for previously recalled toys,” said Donna Bucciarelli, a trauma prevention coordinator at Beaumont.
Parents can go the extra step to subscribe to email recall updates from the Consumer Product Safety Commission. There are also lists put out safety advocates that help adults steer clear of items that aren’t banned, but could pose safety threats.
Experts say it’s easy for parents to overlook small things. Doctor Kralovich pointed to cards that play music when you open them. He said smaller children may be curious and tear open the cards, the small batteries inside can react in a child’s stomach burning their stomach or small intestines.
Similar issues lead to thousands of emergency room visits every year.
It’s recommended that parents take a look at recalled toys and inspect their children’s toy boxes to make sure that they don’t already have items inside their home that could be harmful. Kralovich also said it’s a smart idea to inspect toys for broken parts, or removable parts, that can become a choking hazard for smaller children who put things in their mouth.
You can download the full “Trouble in Toyland” report by visiting toysafetytips.org.
You can also subscribe to email recall updates from CPSC and other U.S. government safety agencies by going to www.recalls.gov.