‘Trouble in Toyland’ report advises parents on which gifts to avoid ahead of Black Friday

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By Giselle Balido

November 22, 2023

Which children’s toys and electronics are safe to gift? This 2023 report explains how to protect kids from unsafe toys and smart electronics.

A consumer protection and good government group on Wednesday released its 38th annual “Trouble in Toyland Report” ahead of Black Friday.

The US PIRG Education Fund’s report provides parents and gift buyers with a guide to protect children from toxics, choking hazards, privacy problems, and other toy-related dangers. These warnings have resulted in fewer hazards. However, dangerous toys still injure thousands of children each year.

The categories listed in this year’s report include:

  • A focus on the danger of smart toys and devices, including threats that stem from toys with microphones, cameras, and trackers.
  • Recalled toys, water beads, counterfeits and Meta Quest VR headsets.
  • The ongoing risk posed by online retailers that continue to sell recalled toys in violation of federal law.
  • Ongoing threats from high-powered magnets, button batteries, choking hazards, counterfeit toys, and inadequate warning labels.
  • The threats that come with some toys that may increase with the growth of artificial intelligence. “AI is now advertised in toy robots, games and interactive toy animals, some aimed at children as young as 3 years old,” the report reads.

 

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Be smart about Smart Toys

Last month, an 11-year-old girl was kidnapped by a man she encountered while playing a game online. The game, Roblox, is one of the most popular mobile games this year.

The report includes a section that offers smart toy help for parents and gift givers.

“Parents and caregivers should understand the toy’s features,” said Samuel Levine, director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). The big questions parents should ask include:

● Does the toy allow the child to connect to the internet and send emails or connect to social media?

● Does it have a microphone or camera? If so, when will it record, and will you know it’s recording?

You may read the full report HERE.

 

Author

  • Giselle Balido

    Giselle is Floricua's political correspondent. She writes about the economy, environmental and social justice, and all things Latino. A published author, Giselle was born in Havana and grew up in New Jersey and Miami. She is passionate about equality, books, and cats.

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