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Toxic chemicals and choking hazards found in children's toys


When people in Tennessee purchase toys for children, there are literally thousands of products to choose from. However, some toys may be dangerous to children and defective product attorneys Tennessee often see cases where these toys have caused severe injury and death.

Recently, the Florida Public Interest Research Group released a report, titled Trouble in Toyland 2014, which listed hazards in toys the organization examined. Findings from the report featured nine specific hazards found in examined toys, including the following:

  • Small parts
  • Balloons
  • Magnets
  • Batteries
  • Loud noise

The Florida PIRG also cited lead, chromium, phthalates and small balls as hazards present in some toys the organization examined.

Small parts

Choking, according to the report, is the leading cause of toy-related deaths. As defective product attorneys in Tennessee are aware, one of the sources of these incidents is small parts. Small parts are particularly hazardous for children under the age of three.


Findings from the report show that balloons pose an even greater choking hazard than small parts. In fact, 40 percent of reported toy-related choking deaths involve balloons. Operating non-inflated balloons already requires contact with the mouth and they are easily inhaled.


Magnets are an item found in toys that young children may swallow. This can be particularly hazardous when multiple magnets are swallowed. Due to the attractive forces inherent in the magnets, they may converge on each other, causing serious damage to intestinal walls along the way.


Beyond the choking hazard inherent in most batteries, especially smaller ones, the chemical hazards within them are dangerous when swallowed. The acid inside batteries may leak inside the child, burning through the esophagus and blood vessels. This even could ultimately cause fatal internal bleeding.

Loud Noise

Loud noises are common features of children's toys. Excessive noise may lead to a loss of hearing, which is especially problematic for young children. Defective product attorneys in Tennessee have also seen situations where a hearing loss has impeded speech development.

Parental vigilance required

The federal government is aware and concerned about potential hazards associated with consumer products, including toys. Among other responsibilities, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission tests toys for safety. However, according to the office of U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, the commission does not test all toys.

For this reason, parents must be vigilant about screening the toys accessible to their children. To this end, the PIRG provides a list of recommendations to help parents protect children from potential hazards. Removing small batteries if security or inaccessibility is disputable is an important step. Keeping out of reach any small parts or broken toys that might present hazards may also ward off an incident. However, if an incident does take place, parents may wish to consult with an attorney.

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