NEWS of the Day - November 23, 2012
on some LACP issues of interest

NEWS of the Day - November 23, 2012
on some issues of interest to the community policing and neighborhood activist across the country

EDITOR'S NOTE: The following group of articles from local newspapers and other sources constitutes but a small percentage of the information available to the community policing and neighborhood activist public. It is by no means meant to cover every possible issue of interest, nor is it meant to convey any particular point of view ...

We present this simply as a convenience to our readership ...


Consumer group posts annual report on toy safety

U.S. PIRG's "Trouble in Toyland" report points out several popular toys that may pose safety risks to children.

by Tiffany Hsu

Days before the annual mob scene that is Black Friday, a consumer advocacy group urged parents to take a closer look at the Christmas toys they're gearing up to buy.

Several popular products may pose safety risks to children, according to the 27th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group, which visited toy chains, malls and dollar stores this fall looking for potentially dangerous playthings.

Among the findings that caused concern: plastic play food sold at Wal-Mart and Toys-R-Us that could constitute a choking hazard; balloons from a dollar store marketed to 1-year-olds, even though experts recommend that balloons be restricted to children older than age 8; and a Dora the Explorer guitar at Target that may pose a hearing risk with prolonged exposure.

One action figure violated federal legal lead standards of 100 parts per million, according to the group. Powerful small magnets classified as "finger fidget" toys raised concerns as well because of the risk of internal injuries if eaten. Several products with small parts weren't properly labeled with warning notices.

But overall, U.S. PIRG concluded that new laws including the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 had "made great strides in toy safety." Investigators did not find any toys that exceeded federal limits on phthalates.

But the Toy Industry Assn. Inc. called the U.S. PIRG report "needlessly frightening."

"Its headlines cry for caution but the fine print clarifies that most of the products on their list actually comply with the strict toy safety standards that are already in place in the U.S.," Joan Lawrence, vice president of safety standards for the group, said in a statement.

"After searching high and low, they found what we already knew toys are safe."