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Report warns parents about hidden holiday toy dangers

It may seem hard to believe, but Christmas is now less than three weeks away. That, of course, means parents here in California and across the U.S. are busy searching for toys online and on store shelves, trying to find those items that will make it a truly memorable holiday for their children.

While most parents will be diligent in ensuring that the toys they end up purchasing are safe for their children. It may still be helpful for them to check out some of the toy reviews conducted by various safety advocacy groups before getting out their wallets, as it may alert them to potential dangers of which they were previously unaware.

For example, the U.S. Public Interest Research Group recently released its 28th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report, which is comprised of safety reviews for 50 toys currently found at major retail stores and discount chains across the nation. As always, the report made some rather eye-opening findings.

To illustrate, the PIRG report found several toys had illegal lead levels, including a very popular toy called the Captain America Soft Shield, which tested positive for 29 times the legal lead limit. For those unfamiliar with the dangers of lead exposure, it can result in organ damage and brain damage.

In addition, the PIRG report found that six toys presented choking hazard concerns and were lacking the necessary warning labels, while another three toys had noise levels that exceeded the federal decibel limit.

While all this is of course alarming to parents, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has indicated that the overall number of toy recalls has declined over the last five years. For example, there were 31 toy recalls in fiscal year 2013 versus 38 in fiscal year 2012, 50 in fiscal year 2009 and 172 in fiscal year 2008.

It's important to remember that you can seek justice if a dangerous or defective children's product has caused your family immeasurable harm. Consider speaking with an experienced attorney to learn more about your rights and your options.

Source: KPCC, "Dangerous toys: Capt. America shield, Ninja Turtles on annual list of hazards," Nov. 27, 2013

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