WISPIRG finds Trouble in Toyland - WXOW News 19 La Crosse, WI – News, Weather and Sports |

WISPIRG finds Trouble in Toyland

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LA CROSSE, WI (WXOW)—Before you head out to buy your holiday gifts for children, the Wisconsin Public Interest Research Group hopes you'll keep its annual toy safety survey in mind.

The Trouble in Toyland report found small toys that pose a choking hazard, extremely loud toys that threaten children's hearing and toy magnets that can cause serious injury.

They found a toy Dora the Explorer guitar that measured at 93 decibels when held ten centimeters away; WISPIRG said that's over the 85 decibel limit.

One way to tell if a toy is too loud for a child is how well you can hear it inside the noisy store. 

Joe Rasumssen, WISPIRG Program Associate said if you can hear it clearly in the store its likely too loud.

"We should be able to trust that the toys we buy are safe. However, until that's the case, parents need to watch out for common hazards when shopping for toys," Rasmussen said.

They're also concerned about strong magnetic toys.

Swallowing multiple magnets can cause a lot of internal damage.

"Those very strong magnets will stick together across tissue and organs with in the body," Rasmussen said.  "And cause severe tissues tearing and internal bleeding. That could require multiple surgeries and removal or intestines to fix."

"The rising number of magnet injuries in children and teenagers suggests that the sale of high-powered magnets should be prohibited,"  Dr. Bryan Rudolph, Pediatric Gastroenterology Fellow, Children's Hospital at Montefiore said.   "In the meantime, the best defense against high-powered magnet ingestion and a trip to the emergency department is to make sure they are not present where children, live, visit or play."

If you're shopping for a child under three-years-old this holiday season WISPIRG recommends the toilet paper roll test; if a toy can fit inside a toilet paper roll they say its too small for children under 3-years-old.

Gundersen Lutheran warns parents about the dangers of increasing popular lithium ion batteries, they're about the size of a nickel and found in some remote control devices.

If a child swallows that battery it could become lodged in the esophagus.

"From that point the saliva mixes with battery causing electrical  current, then causing chemical reaction which is causing severe burns to the esophagus," Kim Lombard, Trauma/Injury Prevention Coordinator, Gundersen Lutheran said.

Lombard said you have about two hours before the reaction happens.

If a child swallowed a battery you should not induce vomiting or give them anything to drink, because that could speed up the reaction.  She said to call 911.
Key findings from the report include:

•    Toys with high levels of toxic substances are still on store shelves. We found toys which contained phthalates, as well as toys with lead content above the 100 parts per million limit.
•    Despite a ban on small parts in toys for children under three, we found toys available in stores that still pose choking hazards.
•    We also found toys that are potentially harmful to children's ears and exceed the noise standards recommended by the National Institute of Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.
•    We discovered small powerful magnets that pose a dangerous threat to children if swallowed.

To download the full Trouble in Toyland report, click here.

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