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Health & Medicine

OSPIRG Cautions Shoppers To Be Aware Of Hazardous Toys

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The holiday season often means shopping for toys and games for young people. One Oregon consumer advocacy group wants people to remember to avoid dangerous toys.

Since 2008, stronger federal rules have helped reduce the number of unsafe toys sold. However, says Alice Morrison with the Oregon Student Public Interest Research Group, not all toymakers follow the laws. This year, the group found toys with excessive noise, choking hazards and toxic chemicals. One red-flagged item, says Morrison, is a set of elliptical magnets called Sizzlers. They’re thrown in the air and snap toward each other with a reverberating sound:

Morrison: “The reason these toys are so dangerous is because they’re made with very powerful magnets that can cause really severe internal damage if more than one of the magnets is swallowed. As you know, magnets tend to gravitate toward each other.”

Morrison says the magnets are legal, they’re barely larger than the small parts limits. But, she says, the long narrow shape is conducive to sliding down a child’s throat. OSPIRG’s yearly report is here.

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