Potential dangers to children, particularly younger ones, from consumer toys are down. That's due to mainly increased vigilance from consumer safety advocates, who have banded together to stop the manufacturing of toxic toys. Nevertheless, there remain toys that will contain parts that will harm children if misused. Parents need to keep a sharp eye on what they buy their children and, of course, keep an eye on little ones' curiosity.
Because of a recent law that limits lead and phthalates in products for kids, consumer advocates found virtually no threats of excessive amounts of lead and phthalates in products.
The bigger threat is small, powerful magnets. These types of magnets are found in an expensive kids' toy called Snake Eggs. They are also found in desktop toys that adults are more likely to use.
According to a report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, about 1,700 cases of kids swallowing tiny, high-powered magnets were reported in hospital emergency rooms between 2009 and 2011. The danger of children ingesting these tiny magnets is that they can stick together inside the body, pinching internal areas of the body.
The U.S. toy industry agrees with regulators that tiny, powerful magnets need to be restricted from children. It may only be a matter of time before the feds ban or limit their inclusion in products. Government has a role in letting people know when business provides something that can be harmful to consumers.
However, it's always the added responsibility of parents to keep a watchful eye on the little ones who are at play. That kind of diligence invariably saves more lives than the publication of a new consumer-protection law.