On Tuesday, November 25, Illinois PIRG released its 24th annual toy safety report, Trouble In Toyland. The report highlights the year’s most pressing toy safety hazards including choking, lead, phthalates (toxic chemical), and excessive loudness.

Here were some of the most significant findings:

  • Choking hazards were the leading cause of children’s product recalls in 2009. Three children died as a result of choking on a toy or toy part in 2008 alone. There is a ban on small toy parts for toys intended for children under the age of three; however, toys with this hazard are still available on store shelves.

  • PIRG found some toys with volume levels over the 85-decibel limit set by the American Society for Testing and Materials standards. Loudness of toys is of increasing concern as nearly 15% of children age 6-17 have signs of hearing loss.

  • While the first law regulating the amount of phthalates in children’s toys and products went into effect in 2009, setting the limit at 0.1%, Illinois PIRG identified children’s products with up to 7.2% concentrations of phthalates.

  • Lead regulations have also become increasingly stringent in the last year. Nonetheless, children’s products with dangerous levels of lead remain on store shelves, including Barbie, Disney, and Dora brands tested in California.

For tips on avoiding common children’s product safety hazards, read this flyer packed with tips from Kids In Danger to help you shop safely this holiday season!