Advocacy group CalPIRG releases annual list of dangerous children's toys

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Before you hit the Black Friday sales, a consumer advocacy group offers up its annual list of dangerous children's toys.

Many have been recalled, but California Public Interest Research Group (CalPIRG) said quite a few are still available online.

The excitement of new toys quickly fades once a child accidentally chokes on small parts. Doctors said every three minutes a child in the U.S. seeks medical care for a toy-related injury.

"We see a number of kids on a weekly basis ingest small parts," said Dr. Alan Nager, the division director of emergency and transport medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

In the last two years, the Consumer Products Safety Commission recalled 44 toys.

"We found that 16 of the recalled toys were available online," Emma Broward with CalPIRG said.

The group urged parents to steer clear of recalled toys such as the Sky Rover Aero Cruz Drone with a faulty USB charger, the Green Tones Monkey Glockenspiel with lead paint and the Bud and Skip-it pull toy with loose, tiny pieces.

One life-saving test? Take toys apart and see if each piece can pass through a toilet roll.

"Just making sure that if it does fit in this hole, it is too small for children," said Helen Arbogast, injury prevention coordinator at Children's Hospital Los Angeles.

While parents will do everything they can to keep dangerous toys away from young ones, many kids have older siblings that have toys that they can get into.

Kally, 4, has a 10-month-old sister. Her mother, Desiree Gapultos, said she has to carefully monitor her youngest child because she wants everything her older sister has.

Nager said besides toys, he's seen many kids ingest button batteries and magnets.

"And that requires a foreign body removal in the operating room," he said.

CalPIRG is asking parents to check national recall lists and toy safety websites before shopping. This Christmas, Gapultos' strategy is to reduce the number of toys her daughter receives.

"She has a lot of toys already, so we're actually trying to just teach her to give stuff to other people," Gapultos said.

For more information, you can visit the CalPIRG website and read the full report by clicking here.
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