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Recalled and counterfeit toys endanger Oregon consumers

Jesse Lawrence-Weilmann displays a toy rattle, which was recalled over a potential choking hazard.

As holiday shopping begins, consumer advocates are warning Oregonians about the dangers of recalled toys.

An investigation by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group found that many toys previously pulled from store shelves could still be purchased online, including on Facebook and eBay. And they predict that more items could be recalled this year than any year since 2014.

Almost 200,000 people are hospitalized in the U.S. annually because of toy-related injuries, most of them children. Safety concerns include choking hazards, toxic chemicals and sharp edges. Jesse Lawrence-Weilmann is with OSPIRG in Oregon.

“Toy manufacturers, retailers, regulators, consumer advocates and families need to do more to protect our children.”

Lawrence-Weilmann said parents should inspect their children’s toys before use. He also encouraged consumers to watch for counterfeit items, which don’t have to pass U.S. safety standards.

"“If an in demand toy is difficult to find, and all of a sudden you see it online, and it's much cheaper than it should be, parents should investigate.”

More information is available at www.toysafetytips.org.

Nathan Wilk is a freelance reporter and former reporting intern. He began in radio at a young age, serving as a DJ and public affairs host across Oregon. He is a senior at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication.