Study finds that many unsafe toys are still on store shelves despite recalls 

A recent investigation by the US PIRG Education Fund has found that, despite high safety standards for children’s toys, not all recalled items are being removed from the stores. This means that potentially dangerous products are still being sold to the public.  

For the study, the researchers looked at 16 different recalled toys in the US. They found that half of these toys were still available for purchase in several online toy shops, as well as other online platforms like eBay and Facebook Marketplace – and most were new in the box or with tags. 

Among the recalled toys being sold were action figures, musical toys, bath toys, riding toys, and stuffed animals. Furthermore, some of the items were from major trustworthy brands. 

U.S. PIRG Education Fund Consumer Watchdog Teresa Murray commented: “Toys overall are safer today. Injuries and recalls are down. But when 200,000 kids are going to emergency rooms every year for injuries involving toys, that’s clearly unacceptable. Everyone – retailers, toy manufacturers, regulators, lawmakers, consumer advocates, and families – need to do more to protect children.” 

This follows concerns raised by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) earlier in the year about the threat of recalled toys being sold on online platforms. In a letter, the agency said: “We are aware of the growing challenges with these kinds of eCommerce sites.”

The CPSC says that around 200,000 children in the US end up needing emergency care over toy-related injuries, and toys that don’t meet the safety standards are the highest risk. 

Parents are advised to be careful when choosing toys and to check the following: 

  • The age recommendation on the product’s packaging – toys that are approved by the regulator should show the age they are approved for
  • Any electrical products should say “UL-approved”
  • Toys should contain a “non-toxic” label 
  • If there are small parts that the child could break off and put in their mouth 
  • If a piece of the toy could break off and produce a sharp edge 
  • Battery compartments should be secure, particularly if the toy is for very young kids 

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