Despite Recalls Consumer Groups Warn About Toys

November 21, 2007

Dana Parker was so worried after the numerous big toy recalls this summer she packed up her kids' toys and took them to Mattel's office in El Segundo, California, and asked the company to check for recalls.

"I didn't trust going through the list of paperwork and the pictures, I didnt trust it. So just looking after my kids safety I took a stand and said you guys do it" siad Parker.

Two consumer safety groups say there are too many unsafe toys still on the shelves and many more that should be recalled but are not, like toys containing powerful magnets that can harm children if swallowed.

"These magnets are so strong, that they'll hold across my finger" said Ed Mierzwinski of the PIRG

And the non-profit U.S. public interest research group says there are still toys being sold with high levels of lead.

"We found plastic farm animals with lead at nearly fifty percent higher than the CPSC's limit" said Mierzwinski.

The center for environmental health claims it found high levels of lead in toys like "Dora the Explorer ball and bat set" as far as CNN could determine, this product has never been recalled.

Franklin sports, which makes the set, did not return our calls for comment. Consumer groups want a third party, independent of toy companies and the CPSC, to test toys.

The consumer products safety commission says it is living up to its mandate.

"We have a responsibility to enforce safety and that's what this agency does" said Julie Vallese of the CPSC.

For worried parents like Dana Parker, she just wants to be sure the toys she buys are safe.

"We should assume that when we pay good money we're getting a safe product" said Parker

The CPSC has issued some tips for holiday toy buying including avoiding toys with small parts for children under three and magnets for kids under six. They say you should buy helmets and safety gear for any skateboards, riding toys or skates and try to keep projectile toys like darts and sling shots away from small children.

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