The U.S. and Texas Public Interest Research Group come up with the toy watch list every year. This year the U.S. group looked at chemical content including lead, chromium and phthalates. It also looked at small parts, balloons, magnets and batteries, which are dangerous when ingested, and toys that are excessively noisy.
Your first line of defense, of course, is to make sure that you buy toys that are age-appropriate for your child. This is easier said than done because, of course, younger children always want what they see their older siblings playing with and what they see on TV.
The U.S. Public Interest Research Group recommends:
Shop with its recommendations in hand
Examine toys for potential dangers before buying them
Avoid small parts that are less than 1.25 inches across and up to 2.25 inches long and small balls that fit in a toilet roll tube if you have a child 3 years old or younger
If a toy seems to loud for you, it is probably too loud for your child.
Check that the batteries are not accessible to your child.
If you own toys:
Remove small batteries if you have a question about their accessibility.
Remove batteries or put tape over the speakers of too-loud toys.
Regularly check toys for broken parts and small parts.
Here are some toys it found that should be a no and the reason why.
Badge Playset from Greenbrier International sold at Dollar Tree: Lead
Jake and the Neverland Pirates tambourine, from Greenbrier International sold at Dollar Tree: Chromium
Hello Kity Bracelet and Hair Clips Accessory Set from H.E.R. Accessories, sold at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, Phthalate
Leopard pattern rubber duck from Infantino, sold at Walmart: Phthalate
Dora the Explorer backpack, from FAB Starpoint, sold at Walgreens: Phthalate
Edushape 80 pieces textured blocks, sold on Amazon: choking
Our Generation: Sydney Lee and Stars in Your Eyes, from Maison Joseph Battat, sold at Target: choking
Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Figurine Playset, from Disney Store, sold at Amazon: choking
Rhinestone Rosette Bow Headband, by Mix & Co., sold at Family Dollar: choking
Favors Surprises spiral drawing pieces, by Greenbrier International, sold at Dollar Tree: choking
Princess Party Favors Surprises, by Greenbrier International, sold at Dollar Tree: choking
Wind Up Fun clownfish, by Auxo, sold at Kmart: choking
Disney Figurine Winnie the Pooh Piglet, by Beverly Hills Teddy Bear Co., sold at 99 Cents Only Stores: choking
Grow Metallix Mega Gro-Bot, by Alley Oop! Greenbrier International, sold at Dollar Tree: choking
Grow Color Changers, by Inspirefly Toys, Alley Oop! Greenbrier International, sold at Dollar Tree: choking
Magic Towel football or baseball shape, by Greenbrier International, sold at Dollar Tree: choking
Shopping Cart Playset, by Just Kidz, sold at Kmart, choking (the lemons and the eggs)
Mega Value Pack 16 latex punch balloons, by Amscan, sold at Party City: choking
Zen Magnets Mini Set, sold at its online store: ingestion
Sonic Sound Sizzlers noise magnets, by Ja-Ru-Inc. at Toys R Us: ingestion
Buckyballs: sold at buckyballstore.com; ingestion
Cherubic Cetacean, by Hua Cai, sold at Super 99c Century: chocking and ingestion
And, just in case you thought this was all so silly, choking on balloons killed 38 kids from 2001-2012; rubber balls, killed 35; toy or toy parts, 23. 80 kids were killed by riding toys, scooters or tricycles; 7 by toy boxes.