Consumer Group Finds Recalled Toys Still For Sale
A consumer group is out with its annual survey on toy safety. This year’s report highlights the availability of toys that have been subjected to recalls.
The Massachusetts Public Interest Research Group’s annual Trouble in Toyland report focuses on recalled toys that may still be available for purchase at online shopping sites, or may already be in the homes of people who are unaware of the recalls.
The report lists 44 toys recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission between January 2015 and October 2016. 16 of the recalled toys were discovered still available for purchase at online retailers, according to Lindsay Mitnik, of the MASSPIRG Education Fund.
" We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe, however until that is the case consumer should understand two things: first, not all recalled toys are well publicized, so you should check your house to make sure there are no previously recalled toys there, and second, some toys that are recalled may still be available online," said Mitnik.
The report did not identify the sites where the recalled toys were found still available for purchase, but Mitnik said the information was given to the federal consumer watchdogs. It is illegal to sell a recalled product.
Many of the toys were recalled for safety reasons.
"We need to protect our youngest consumers from recalled toys," said Mitnik
At a news conference Tuesday at the YMCA in downtown Springfield, Mitnik highlighted three of the recalled toys: a pacifier clip that is a choking hazard, a tiny toy drone that was recalled because it overheats, and a beanbag chair, also a potential choking hazard.
Because toy recalls are typically not well publicized, Mitnik said toy shoppers have to do some research by checking the MASSPIRG, CPSC, and other websites that have updated information on toy recalls.
She also urged shoppers to pay attention to the age-appropriate warning labels on toys and conduct a simple test to determine if a toy poses a choking hazard: if the toy fits through the cardboard tube in a roll of toilet paper, there is a risk a small child could choke on it.
" Ultimately, it is just about being smart," said Mitnik.
At the news conference, Democratic State Rep. Jose Tosado of Springfield, who is a member of the House Committee on Consumer Protection, said toy safety is a very serious issue.
" We as consumers really do need to do the research to make sure we don't put our young people in harms way," said Tosado.
State Rep. Angelo Puppolo of Springfield praised MASSPIRG for the annual report.
" Just making the public aware of the problems with some of these toys, we are very appreciative of MASSPIRG for getting that information out to the public," said Puppolo.
For more than 30 years, the MASSPIRG Education Fund has conducted an annual survey of toy safety, which the organization said has led to over 150 recalls.