Trouble-in-Toyland Keep these safety guidelines in mind as you shop for children this holiday season.
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Christmas is a time of giving! But Santas, parents, and gift buyers need to be aware of hazardous toys on the shelves. This report shares some useful information.

Christmas morning is a special time for families, especially for young children who enjoy unwrapping colorful packages from Santa under the tree.

However, before parentst hand their kids’ Christmas lists over to Santa’s elves, it is important for them to know that dangerous toys currently on the shelves—such as those that present choking hazards or are made with toxic materials—injure thousands of children each year.

For this reason, the Florida Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) Education Fund’s Trouble in Toyland reports provide a guide to protect children from toy-related dangers.

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“I want families to have a happy and safe holiday. I highlight reports like Trouble in Toyland every year to empower today’s consumers with the information they need to keep their little ones safe,” US Rep Kathy Castor (Tampa/St. Petersburg), who has introduced multiple bills in the House of Representatives concerning kids’ safety online, said in a statement.

The Florida Democrat also issued an annual reminder of the additional tools that are available year-round, like saferproducts.gov, where consumers can submit reports and search for product hazard reports. Additionally, parents can subscribe to government announcements of recalled products here

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Some points to keep in mind include:

  • Besides being vigilant about hazardous toys currently on shelves, practicing toy safety—such as using helmets and fastening belts correctly—is just as important when it comes to keeping kids safe.
  • Parental vigilance is an important part of toy safety, since the Consumer Protection Safety Commission does not test all toys, and not all toys on store shelves necessarily meet the Commission’s standards.
  • Parents should also check for counterfeit toys before they buy them.
  • Gift buyers need to remember that toys included in the report are presented as examples, and other hazards may exist.
  • As more and more toys are imported from countries where toy safety is not as stringent, parents need to remain informed of the hazards they pose to children.
  • The entire report can also be found at https://castor.house.gov/ in the “Protecting Consumers” section.
  • Castor also introduced the Kids PRIVCY Act in the House of Representatives, a bill that would provide parents the tools they need to keep their children safe online.