Dangerous, Recalled Toys Sold Online Bring Major Safety Risks

December 8, 2022 - Sarah Combs, MD, has been an attending physician in the emergency room at Children's National Hospital in Washington, DC for six and a half years.
She knows how dangerous toys can be. She has seen the damage they can do.
“Toy-related injuries can mean that a child picks up a small marble and sticks it into the ear canal, or it can involve more serious injuries such as falling. B. Uninflated balloon into the airway. Aspiration, unfortunately I saw it too,” says Kämme. This immediate knowledge includes death.
''For the sake of patient privacy, I won't go into too much specifics here, but many years ago, a case I remember was a young child who was aspirating (from mouth to airway). It's about [sucked] uninflated balloons. Absolutely tragic.''
A mother of two young children, she says treating children injured by toys can be difficult.
“On the one hand, it can lead to empathy from parents. On the other hand, it can be hard not to worry too much. We're at the stage where we're going to put whatever we can in our mouths,'' Combs says. She says the most serious injuries—those that can be fatal—are those that affect the respiratory system.
“These are the big culprits that we are concerned about,” she says. The problem is, when you inhale one of these balloons into your airway, this kind of floppy valve clogs your airway.It's always cloudy.And in the same direction, what we see is Serious, often marbles, very small marbles, relocked and stuck in the throat.''
''Toyland Trouble''
This year, the 37th Annual US Toy Safety Report focuses on: Public interest research group ''Trouble in Toy Country 2022'' that specializes in recalled toys. Some of these toys are still available online after being recalled for being dangerous. A reminder to all that buying toys online can be expensive.
Her Teresa Murray, US consumer watchdog, said: The PIRG Education Fund and the authors of the report set out to determine the extent of the problem and to see how many toys consumers recalled.
Murray purchased them from her eight dealers.
“We were really shocked at how easy it was to buy recalled toys online,” she says.
''And the majority of the toys we purchased were brand new, boxed or with tags, unlike second-hand toys you might find at flea markets.''
Although selling recalled toys is illegal, she and her team have purchased over 30 recalled toys. Yes, it's illegal, but these toys aren't hard to come by.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 200,000 people go to the emergency room each year for toy-related injuries. Although that number has declined somewhat over the past decade, it does not include injuries not severe enough to require a trip to the emergency room.
''We're not talking about, 'Okay, something cut me, I got a little poke in the eye, something burned me,''' says Murray. ''But something serious enough to take someone to the ER, you know, it's pretty serious.''
And her 79,000 of those patients are her children under the age of four. Land of recalled toys
Toys are recalled for a variety of reasons. They have small parts that can break off and suffocate, contain toxic chemicals, are flammable, and can cause lacerations or strangulation.
But more often than not, a dangerous defect is discovered after serious injury has occurred.
This report focuses on his three problem areas:
Recalled toys still available for purchase, the role of parents and caregivers in protecting children, and counterfeit toys sold in stores and online.
Many of them come from overseas and do not meet US safety standards.
The toys Murray bought covered filled animals, pastime balls for infants, motion figures, musical toys, and tubtub toys. Two contained pollutants with excessive ranges of phthalates or lead – a chemical banned withinside the 1970s:
• Army Action Figure Playsets through Blue Panda
• 6-inch Aflac Plush Promotional Ducks through Communicorp
Some posed a choking chance because of small elements breaking off. Those were:
• Disney Baby Winnie the Pooh Rattle Sets from Walgreens
• Activity Loops through The Manhattan Toy Co.
• Early Learning Centre Little Senses Lights & Sounds Shape Sorter Toys through Addo Play
• Forky 11” Plush Toys from Disney Pixar's Toy Story
• Kid O Hudson Glow Rattles through PlayMonster
The different toys covered:
• DigitDots 3-millimeter and 5-millimeter Magnetic Balls through HD Premiere, which motive accidents to the digestive gadget if or extra are swallowed
• Blue's Clues Foot to Floor Ride-on Toys through Huffy Corp., that can tip ahead and motive falls
• Kidoozie Play Tents and Playhouses through Epoch Everlasting Play, which do not meet enterprise flammability standards
• Ubbi Connecting Bath Toys through Pearhead, that can motive cuts whilst portions damage off, developing a choking chance
Risks Lurk in Online Markets
Murray believes major online platforms such as Facebook Marketplace and his eBay should do better vetting and prevent recalled toys from being sold on his website.
''The fact that it's for sale is problematic because these companies, these big markets, can know when the recalled toy has been posted on their website,'' she says. “If you unknowingly buy a recalled dangerous toy and give it to someone you love and injure them, that’s a big deal.”
Facebook Marketplace did not respond to a request for comment, but eBay did.
''eBay works closely with many regulatory agencies around the world to promote product safety and protect consumers from unsafe products. We take product recalls very seriously and Monitor CPSC announcements to ensure recalled items are blocked or removed. We are pleased to report that the PIRG team received one of the recall notices. This demonstrates our commitment to monitor recalls and notify consumers. ''
Murray says the email she received from eBay about the product recall was sent after she received the toy.
Even older children are not immune to dangerous toys. Hoverboards, scooters, and other ride-on toys pose a serious hazard and can cause head injuries and bone fractures. Toys that connect to the internet via Wi-Fi or her Bluetooth for more interactive play are very popular, but they can also expose children to potentially dangerous situations.
Parents should make sure they understand all of the toy's features, including cameras, microphones, and data collection. ''I wouldn't say that a child's interaction with a toy is necessarily a problem, but parents should ask what the toy can do, what information it collects about their young child, and what else. You have to know what's there,' says Murray...what it does...with that information.
''We don't need information about your child being enrolled in a foreign database.''
Warning to Public and Industry
Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Alexander Hoehn-Saric said the focus is on warning the public about unsafe products. He says he has removed more than 40,000 unsafe products from his e-commerce site in the last year, including many of the recalled toys on this list.
''Always check age ratings and safety warnings on toys to make sure they're appropriate and safe for that child,'' says Hoehn-Saric. If you are, think of everyone in your home.”
Safety standards apply to all toys sold in the United States for children under the age of 12. They must be third-party tested and certified to meet federal toy safety standards set by Congress. There are different criteria for each age group.
US Senator Richard Blumenthal, DC-CT, chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee's Subcommittee on Consumer Protection, is leading the indictment on Capitol Hill.
“I am simply amazed and appalled at the number of recalled products available for free on Facebook Marketplace and eBay,” he said. “I am just amazed that these platforms take no real responsibility for what they sell. It is a potentially dangerous and deadly toy that is freely available.
The buyer is responsible, but he said: These platforms have a moral and a legal responsibility, in my view, to do better.”
In August, Congress passed, and President Joe Biden signed into law, a bill called Reese's Law.It directs the Consumer Product Safety Commission to create safety standards for button cell, lithium coin, and other small batteries that can injure or kill children if swallowed. The bill was named after 17-month-old Reese Hamsmith, who died in 2020 after swallowing a button battery from a remote control. It burned a hole in her esophagus.
The law requires that these batteries have warning labels telling adults to keep them out of children's reach; that battery compartments be made difficult to open by children 6 years old and under; and that battery packaging follow federal standards and be child-resistant.
Two years before the bill was even introduced, battery maker Duracell picked up the mantle and began coating three sizes of its popular button batteries to make them taste bitter, hoping to discourage kids from licking or swallowing them. Blumenthal, Murray, and Combs believe other battery makers should follow suit, praising bitter batteries.
how to protect your family
Dev Gowda, Associate Director of Kids in Danger, an organization dedicated to product safety and child protection, offers the following tips for parents.
''Look for small parts warning labels on toy packaging.''
If the toy is safe for children under the age of 3, it will display an age rating that includes that age. For children ages 3-6 and if there are small parts, warning. If you don't have the packaging, you can do the toilet paper tube test at home.If the toy or part of the toy fits in the toilet paper core, the toy is suitable for her child under 3 years old. Is not ...
And there are new federal guidelines for small, high-performance magnets. Separate magnets, or magnets that can leak from toys, must be either too large to be swallowed or too weak to bond to the body if more than one is swallowed. The report included disturbing examples of these types of injuries.
• A 3-year-old boy swallowed a magnet from his sister's kit. He needed surgery to remove over 150 tiny magnets and magnetic balls.
• A 9-year-old boy swallowed two of his magnets. At the hospital, an emergency endoscopy for rescue failed. He was hospitalized and put on medication to overcome it.
• A 2 1/2 year old boy swallowed his 4 very strong magnets from a cooking toy. They stuck to each other and punctured his intestines.After emergency surgery to remove the magnet and repair the hole, he underwent more surgery.
• A 12-year-old boy swallowed his 10 magnets. Emergency surgery removed nine of them, and surgery was needed to remove his last one.
According to Joan Lawrence, senior vice president of regulatory affairs at the Toy Association of New York, toy safety is a top priority for the toy industry.
“We work year-round to provide toys that are safe and fun for kids and families,” she says. “In the United States, all toys sold here have mandatory toy safety standards, and all toys sold in the United States must meet over 100 different safety standards.”
For this reason, she says, toys are one of the safest consumer goods in our homes in this country. But with the rise of her online shopping, Lawrence warns against counterfeits and counterfeits.
''We always say that if a hot toy offer looks too good, it's probably true,'' she says. Even so, it's probably better to buy the original or wait for a reputable retailer to restock the product.''
But if the Toy Association survey of 2,000 parents is any indication, there's still a long way to go. Among them, 65% said they would deliberately buy fake toys if they could not find the real ones, and 63% said they would buy fake toys if they were cheaper than the real ones. Sold, but not necessarily safe
Ben Hoffman, MD has been a pediatrician for over 30 years. He has spent the last 11 years at Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland.
A father of three and a nationally recognized expert in childhood injury prevention and awareness, he has also served as chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics Council on Injury, Violence, and Poisoning Prevention. I have. He has seen his share of toy-related injuries in both young and older children.
''I've had explosions related to things like hoverboards, and I've had quite a few burns,'' he said. “Unfortunately, we see all of them. Sadly, they are all preventable.”
According to him, the general assumption is that if something is sold safe, someone has decided it's safe and has gone through a process to make sure it's safe.
''But the problem is that anything can be sold, and the regulatory process becomes reactive rather than proactive, so things go to market and end up in people's homes. ''It's safe for kids,'' he says. ''This is especially frightening and unfortunate for me.''
Hoffman wants people to understand what they're doing when they buy toys online. He believes his parents should be ''very skeptical'' of buying things on electronic markets, especially sites they don't recognize. “I think one of the unfortunate consequences of e-marketplaces is that they provide shelter for unscrupulous people who make money at the expense of children,” he says.
A product is being recalled because there are identified risks associated with it. Unfortunately, he said: They eventually end up in the secondary market, which you've seen in consignment shops, etc. But now in the nameless and faceless electronic and web-based marketplaces, things get even more complicated. ”
Combs looks at the issue through the lens of stricter legislation. ''We certainly understand the struggles parents and caregivers feel because we want children to explore and play, but at the same time they want to play safely,'' she says. ''It's a balancing act.'' Yes, and it is difficult, so it is very important to have some laws and regulations in place.”

26 Dec 2022