It's Time for the Annual Scary Toy Panic

Everything is out to hurt your children


The tiny plastic dolphins, cartoon pencil case and toy cell phone might look like charming holiday gifts, but a consumer safety group warned Tuesday they could pose risks to children.

Less than a month before Christmas and just days from the start of Hanukkah, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group named 20 toys – purchased everywhere from Dollar Tree to Toys "R" Us – that it said could pose choking, chemical, magnetism or noise hazards.

None of the toys the report named have been recalled, according to Dev Gowda with Illinois PIRG.

"These are not theoretical risks," said Dr. Elizabeth Powell, attending physician for pediatric emergency medicine at Lurie Children's Hospital who appeared with PIRG at a news conference. "They are actual risks."

But Joan Lawrence, vice president of safety standards for the Toy Industry Association, criticized the report and said consumers should feel confident in the toys on store shelves.

"What they're not telling you is that in order for it to be on that shelf, it already had to be tested and certified," Lawrence said.