Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Photo by Debster88 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Photo by Debster88 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Photo by Debster88 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

With the holiday shopping season in full swing, a consumer advocacy group teamed up with Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Monday to release the 29th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, highlighting toys that can be dangerous for kids.

“Some of the most dangerous hazards posed by toys are invisible,” said Diane Forte of the California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG.

The report found that some toys on store shelves contain unacceptable levels of lead — such as those found in a set of children’s police and sheriff’s badges — while others had small parts that present a choking hazard — such as those in a set of foam blocks.

CALPIRG’s report also highlighted dangers in toys such as elevated chromium levels, balloons that can be inhaled by children trying to inflate them and gadgets that make unusually loud noises.

“One in seven children between the ages of 6 and 17 have signs of hearing loss,” Forte said.

Children’s Hospital emergency room Dr. Alan Nager said he has seen many choking cases that could have been prevented if parents were more attentive.

“Just because a manufacturer says that a toy is appropriate for a designated age, doesn’t mean the child understands that,” Nager said.

The group said parents can check for dangerous parts by using a toilet- paper roll — if a toy can fit through it, it can likely be swallowed by a child.

The full report is available online on CALPIRG’s website, www.calpirg.org.

City News Service

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