'Trouble in Toyland' report put children's toys on the danger list

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Parents want to buy the hottest, trendiest toys for their kids this holiday season, but safety experts have some warnings before those toys end up under the tree.

CALPIRG, a non-profit public interest group, sent researchers to find some of the most hazardous toys for sale this year. "Trouble in Toyland" is CALPIRG's annual toy holiday safety report.

"Some of the toys we found on store shelves are frankly difficult for parents to discern that they're unsafe," CALPIRG executive director Emily Rusch said.

One particular fidget spinner, previously sold at stores like Target, contains a dizzying amount of lead.

"It came back showing 33,000 parts per million of lead in it," Rusch said. "That's more than 300 times the legal limit for lead in children's products."

The fidget-spinner label says it is for ages 14 and above, but pediatricians warn a younger child may end up chewing on it if it is just laying around.

Doctor Alan Nager, who is the director of emergency and transport medicine at Children's Hospital Los Angeles, said the danger is in repetitive exposure.

"It's chronic, repetitive exposure in the mouth," Dr. Nager said. "It's not a one time, suck for five seconds, and that's going to cause risk."

"My Friend Kayla" is part of a growing number of toys tied to the Internet that pose privacy concerns. Safety experts say once they're inside your home they become little spies.

Rusch says anyone with a Bluetooth device can hack into it.

"The doll captures all sorts of information about the child in conversation: the toys you play with, who your friends are, your pets," Rusch said. "That information is uploaded to a website and it might be used for any purpose."

Consumer groups said this kind of information gathering may violate the law and parents should think carefully before placing one in the home.

The biggest hazard every year remains in tiny toy parts that can cause choking. Dr. Nager said a number of injuries are related to the usual suspects including coins, metal objects, marbles and balloons.

"If it can fit in this toilet paper roll, it is going to be too small for a small child," CHLA Injury Prevention coordinator Helen Arbogast said.

"Children depend on us to protect them from harm," Rusch said. "It's really strong consumer protection laws combined with the watchful eye of parents and caregivers that keep children safe."
Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.