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Children's Health

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Unsafe Toy List: Dora Guitar, Dora Backpack, More

WebMD Health News
Reviewed by Louise Chang, MD

Nov. 21, 2012 -- A too-loud Dora guitar and a lead-filled robot top the annual list of unsafe toys from the Public Interest Research Group, a nonprofit consumer watchdog.

This year's PIRG "Trouble in Toyland" report focuses on the specific dangers: Noisy toys that damage hearing; toys' small parts that can choke; toys filled with toxic chemicals; and toys with powerful magnets that can kill a child who swallows them.

PIRG calls for more action from the government agency responsible for toy safety, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In at least one case, CPSC is trying to get powerful magnets off the market, but so far has been stymied by manufacturer lawsuits.

The Toy Industry Association, the trade group that represents toy makers, says PIRG had to look awfully hard to find just a few unsafe toys.

"PIRG has issued another one of its needlessly frightening reports," Joan Lawrence, TIA's vice president for safety standards, said in a statement. "Most of the products on their list actually comply with the strict safety standards that are already in place in the U.S. After searching high and low they found what we already knew -- toys are safe."

The PIRG list does not include every possibly dangerous toy on the market. The list, PIRG says, only gives examples of possibly dangerous toys PIRG researchers found in U.S. stores.

Dangerously Noisy Toys

  • Dora Guitar manufactured by Fisher-Price and sold at Target for $22.39. PIRG tests found the toy puts out more than 85 decibels (dB); noise over 80 dB may damage children's hearing.
  • CAT Car Wheel/Horn, manufactured by Toy State, sold at Toys-"R"-Us for $18.49. PIRG tests found the toy put out more than 85 dB.
  • FunKeys Car Keys, manufactured by Maison Joseph Battat Ltd. and sold at Target for $9.99. PIRG tested the toy at more than 80 dB. As the toy can be held close to the ear, PIRG says such toys can damage hearing at more than 65 dB.

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