Some Toys Under the Christmas Tree Could Unwrap an E R Visit, says NYPIRG Study

Dec 10, 2013

Every year, Central New York kids request popular toys during the holiday season for various reasons… maybe it’s the bright colors or the sounds they make.  However, the New York Public Interest Research Group is cautioning parents to beware of parts that pose choking hazards, injuries or even lead poisoning.  

NYPIRG showed some of the toys on Tuesday at the Westcott Community Center in Syracuse.  Consumer Advocate Nicole St. James says particular kinds of toys are causing lots of problems.

“The new magnetic toys are made with extremely strong magnets and can cause severe internal damage if more than one is swallowed. CPSC staff estimate that between 2009 and 2011 there were 1700 emergency room cases nationwide involving ingestion of high-powered magnets.  More than 70% of these cases involved children between age 4 and 12.” 

A toy that made the list is the Sonic Sound Sizzlers noise magnets by Ja–Ru Inc.  NYPIRG testers say the toy contains two high powered magnets that are located near small parts.  If you grew up with the product Nerf, you probably think soft and cushy.  Not so fast… Project Coordinator Jessica Johnnes says the N-Strike Nerf Blaster poses problems.

NYPIRG releases annual toy safety report
Credit John Smith/WAER News

  “It’s designed like any other Nerf gun.  It does have the foam bullets.  But because of the force with which this propels the foam bullets itself, it can cause eye injuries.”

Johnnes adds the size of the blaster’s darts is also a concern.  The organization says Lead poisoning in certain toys and other chemicals are also something to be concerned about.  A toy for boys… the Max Steel Interactive Turbo Sword is being cited for having small parts in the packaging itself and testers say the two foot blade could also potentially cause facial or bodily injuries.  The Disney Baby Snow White Doll has a detachable headband with a plastic heart bow that poses a choking hazard to children as young as two.


They’re asking parents or anyone buying toys to be aware of the potential problems they can pose, even if they’re some of the most popular of the season.  Johnnes says the organization has requested tighter manufacturing regulations in the U-S.

“Well, I mean, that’s the whole point of putting together a report like this.  It’s drawing attention that some manufacturers might not be complying with these guidelines, therefor it’s up to parents right now to decide which toys are safe and not safe.”

To review the Dangerous and Toxic Toys Report.. visit