Consumer watchdog groups warns of dangerous toys ahead of holiday season

  • Rachel McDevitt/StateImpact Pennsylvania

(Harrisburg) — Ahead of the holiday shopping season, a consumer safety organization is warning about three types of dangers around toys.

The 34th annual Trouble in Toyland report from the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG) highlights dangers that parents can detect, hidden toxics, and recalls.

PennPIRG’s Emma Horst-Martz said slime has become a popular toy. But, for the second year in a row, all four slime products they tested exceeded the European Union’s safety standards for levels of borax, which contains boron.

“Boron is also a product included in rat poison and ant killer,” Horst-Martz said. “Not something we want our children to be ingesting.”

Horst-Martz recommended parents test toys for choking hazards by seeing if objects can fit through a cardboard toilet paper tube.

For noisy toys, she said parents should test it by holding the toy close to their face–like a child would–and playing the toy’s sound.

“And if it’s too loud for you, then it’s definitely too loud for your child and can damage their developing hearing,” Horst-Martz said.

People buying gifts can also find information on recalled toys by visiting

In 2017, more than 250,000 children were treated in emergency rooms across the country for toy-related injuries.

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