Officials Warn Not All Toys Are Safe

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The holidays are supposed to be a joyful time especially for kids, but over 200,000 children end up in emergency rooms every year for an injury caused by a toy. 

“Just because a toy is on sale doesn’t mean it’s safe. Just because it’s recommended for a particular age group doesn’t mean it is OK,” U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal says. 

Blumenthal says parents need to be careful this holiday season when shopping for toys both in the store and online. 

“There are a lot of toys sold online that have been recalled. They shouldn’t be. It’s against the law but they’re there,” Blumenthal says. 

It looks innocent enough, but a baby cellphone that says it’s for 18 months old measures 87 decibels, according to researchers. 

NBC Connecticut reached out to the manufacturers of the phone but have not yet received a response. 

“A toy that is loud,” Blumenthal says. “Can damage ear drums. The damage from a toy that is loud can be lasting.”

The Public Interest Research Group issued its annual “Trouble in Toyland” report which says toys with noises that hit 80 decibels or more can damage a child’s hearing. 

But noise is just one danger. 

“Scooters continue to be one of our major concerns and cause the most injuries for those kids under the age of 15,” Dr. Steven Rogers of the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, says. 

Rogers says choking hazards are also preventable. 

“If it fits in here it’s a choking hazard and we shouldn't allow our kids less than three to have those small toys,” Rogers says. 

Rogers says he worries about families with children of different ages. 

“The 2-year-old old who has access to the 4 or five-year-olds' toys that may have some small parts that are perfectly safe for the 5 or 6-year-old are certainly not safe for a 2-year-old,” Rogers says. 

But the best thing you can do for your child is to spend time with them. 

“This holiday season the best gift you can give a child is a loving and safe environment and we should make a point just to slow down and play with your kids and spend time with them because that’s what they’re going to remember when the toys are all gone,” Rogers says.  

You can view the full Trouble in Toyland report here.

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