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Cross These Dangerous Toys Off Xmas List: Experts

Annual 'Trouble in Toyland' report cites playthings that could choke or poison a child

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The group tested toys based on standards that consider anything above 85 decibels dangerous to human ears, and sounds above 65 decibels dangerous for toys meant to be held close to the ear. Prolonged exposure can lead to gradual hearing loss.

"One in five children will have some form of hearing loss by the time they reach age 12," Fish said.

Researchers found three toys on store shelves that exceed these loudness limits. These were the LeapFrog Chat & Count Smart Phone, the LeapFrog Lil'Phone Pal and the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote.

Toys that pose a choking hazard also continued to crop up on store shelves, the report said. U.S. PIRG researchers found a number of toys containing parts that would fit through the "choke tube" that the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides to parents to assess choking hazards.

Fish said parents should be on their guard regardless of where they purchase toys. "We found hazardous toys from dollar stores and from nationwide chains. The problems are really across the board," he noted.

"Parents should remember that our report only includes examples of potentially hazardous toys, and is not intended to be a comprehensive list," Fish said. "They should always examine toys carefully for potential hazards before purchasing, and they should always read labels, warnings and age recommendations."

Consumer groups also called on the CPSC to continue vigorous enforcement of safety laws governing children's toys.

"Parents and all consumers should have more confidence in the products they may own or consider purchasing but should also continue to do the right research to select the safest and most appropriate gifts for the children on their gift lists," Rachel Weintraub, legislative director and senior counsel at Consumer Federation of America, said in a U.S. PIRG statement.

"Manufacturers should ensure they comply with the law," Weintraub said. "Continued CPSC enforcement and adequate funding is necessary to further protect our nation's children."

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