Recalled toys being sold online: Report

26 November 2016

Shoppers are being urged to ensure that the toys they bought this holiday season, had not been previously recalled from store shelves now being sold online.

Over a dozen recalled toys might still be sold online, according to a recent research report from non-profit US Public Interest Research Groups Education US (PIRG) Fund, even after the issuance of alerts over lead, choking hazards or overheating. The organisation looked at toys recalled between January 2015 and October 2016.

''As important as recalls are, there is no way to get them all back and to notify everyone,'' said James Swartz, director of World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH).

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalls for toys had declined in recent years. This fiscal year recorded 24 recalls, down from 172 in 2008. However, there were 185,500 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms and 11 deaths of children under 15 years old last year, according to a recent CPSC report.

''It is a challenge for the commission to get into consumers' homes,'' said Nikki Fleming, a CPSC spokesperson. The agency had an internet surveillance team to look at all products on the US PIRG's list of recalled items and had also partnered with the US Customs and Border Protection agency to stop shipments of over 8 million units of 4,500 different toys that failed to meet federal safety requirements.

"Recalls are often not effective in reaching consumers. You may have previously recalled toys at home. We urge you to check our list," the report reads. "In 2014 (the last year for which data are available), there were 251,800 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments, and 11 toy-related deaths. But despite lingering dangers, in the last 30 years we've come a long way in terms of both policy and compliance with standards."

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