NEWS RELEASE
Office of Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr.


December 6, 2000 Media Inquiries: Sean Caine 410-576-6357

ATTORNEY GENERAL OUTLINES SAFETY GUIDELINES, LISTS "DANGEROUS TOYS" FOR PARENTS

Baltimore - Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, Jr., urged Marylanders today to keep their children's safety in mind when shopping for toys this holiday season.

"Children made more than 118,000 visits to emergency rooms in the U.S. for toy-related injuries last year," said Attorney General Curran. "Parents need to know what types of toys are dangerous and how to choose toys that are appropriate for their child's age."

The Attorney General reminded consumers they can do two things to protect their children: learn guidelines for buying toys that are safe and appropriate for a child's age, and check recall lists to find out what toys have been recalled for safety reasons.

Parents can visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission's website, www.cpsc.gov, to see a list of toys recalled for being potentially dangerous, and can sign up to receive the Commission's recall notices by e-mail.

Curran also recommended that parents check out this year's "Trouble in Toyland" report from the Maryland Public Interest Research Group, available at www.toysafety.net. The report lists the following potentially hazardous toys found during a recent survey of stores in Maryland and Virginia. The website cites safety concerns for each toy listed.

WIND UP LINE UP DUCKS (3 pcs)
Mfg: My Baby Products
Model # TY-243

FAO GIRL JEWELRY/HAIR BOX
Mfg: FAO Schwarz
Model # 320671

TWEETY MINI ERASERS
Mfg: Warner Brothers Studio
Model # 43175 0122 009

THE POWERPUFF GIRLS RUBBERSTAMP KIT
Mfg: The Powerpuff Girls TM & Cartoon Network
Model # 43175 0221 009

BARBIE ERASER TIN
Mfg: Impact Inc.
Model # 1073

100 PIECE JIGSAW PUZZLE - POWER RANGERS
Mfg: RoseArt
Model # 290173

BEAR STUFF TENNIS RACKET AND BALLS
Mfg: Build-A-Bear Workshop
Model # A01 001598

BEAR STUFF BAT, BALL AND GLOVE
Mfg: Build-A-Bear Workshop
Model # A10 001450

BEAR STUFF TEACHER SET
Mfg: Build-A-Bear Workshop
Model # A10 00911

SUPER NINJA BLOW DART SET
Mfg: None listed
Model # 75052 92253

23 PIECE FASHION MAKE UP SET
Mfg: Expressions By Alamar, Harry Ash
Model # EXM140, UPC 49275

COSMETIC SET IN BLUE PLASTIC BAG
Mfg: None listed
Model # 741843

PARTY FAVORS - (JACKS AND BALL, 4 PCS BEAD KITS, SMILEY FACE RINGS, RINGS WITH SMALL BEADS WITHIN, 6 PCS. ANIMAL STAMPS)
Mfg: CBI Distributing, Inc.
Model # 916080, 91599-1, 82565-3, 82572-9, 91590-0

CHINESE DOLL BAG
Mfg: Tri-Coastal Design
Model # 244570

STACKABLE ROCKIN' FRIENDS BABY SOFT BLOCKS RATTLE/BLUE PENGUIN
Mfg: Mega Bloks
Model # 7003

THE SALTWATER BATH BOOK
Mfg: Paradise Press, Tubby Buddies
Model # 86943 00716

SQUEAKIE PLAYBOOK
Mfg: The First Years
Model # 2309

BALLOONS IN ASSORTED COLORS
Mfg: None listed
Model #s 80009- solid latex and 80001

POOH BALLOONS
Mfg: Blue Bird National Latex Company Model # 75060 04230

HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BALLOONS
Mfg: Unique
Model #s 37553, 37547

PONGBALL EYE
Mfg: None listed
Model# 38249

ERASERS IN ASSORTED SHAPES AND COLORS
Mfg: None listed
Model # 38739

HALLOWEEN RINGS
Mfg: None listed
Model #15947

HALLOWEEN WHISTLES
Mfg: None listed
Model # 8486

ASSORTED ANIMAL FIGURINES
Mfg: None listed
Model # 32043

LIGHT GREEN PLASTIC SALAMANDERS AND INSECTS
Mfg: None listed

SPACE VEHICLES
Mfg: None listed
Model # 46022

PLASTIC BASEBALL
Mfg: None listed
Model # 92932-3

SMALL MULTI-COLORED BALLS
Mfg: None listed
Model # 30018

100 ASSORTED MARBLES
Mfg: Craft Master Imports
Model # PI-141

MARBLES
Mfg: None listed
Model # 29885

LIL CHEFS MARKET 50-PC PLAY FOOD SET
Mfg: Geoffrey, Inc.
Model # 9252

Guidelines for buying safe toys include:

  • Read the manufacturer's age label recommendations. Toys labeled "not for children under 3" contain small parts that could choke a young child.

  • Be on the lookout for choking hazards. Don't buy toys with small parts or games with marbles or small balls under 1.75 inches in diameter for children under three years of age. Some toy stores offer a "no-choke testing tube" or you can use a toilet paper tube to test whether a toy is a choking hazard.

  • Choose sturdy and well-made toys. If a child is able to pull off an eye, nose or other part off a toy, he or she might swallow the part and choke on it.

  • Avoid toys with long pull cords or necklaces that could strangle infants or young children. Parents should remove beads, knobs or other attachments from a pull toy cord if the cord is over 12 inches long. Crib toys should not have cords or strings longer than 6 inches.

  • Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, or that are made of thin, brittle plastic that might break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.

  • Consider noise levels and possible hearing damage. If the noise a toy makes when held to an adult's ear hurts, it is too loud for children.

  • Read labels on art supplies and makeup kits for health hazard warnings. For example, children's makeup kits may have nail polish that contains toluene, which is flammable and can pose a health hazard through repeated exposure.

  • When shopping online, be aware that you might not see the "choke hazard" warning label required to be displayed on the toy's packaging.

  • When shopping at thrift stores and yard sales, be aware that used toys, as well as cribs and children's clothing, may have been made before more stringent safety rules were required or may have been recalled.

The Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division also has a free pamphlet on toy safety, "I'll Buy That! Playing It Safe" that can be requested by calling 1-410-576-6500.

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