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PennPIRG Education Fund
CBS Local
Mike DeNardo

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — With the holiday toy shopping season getting underway, safety activists are warning of some items that are best left out of Santa’s sack.

(Some of the toys deemed unsafe by PennPIRG in its annual toy safety report. Credit: Mike DeNardo)

“Changing channels is such fun,” sings the Fisher-Price “Laugh and Learn” remote.   It looks harmless, but the Pennsylvania Public Interest Research Group (PennPIRG) warns that it  plays above 85 decibels — too loud for young ears.

And Hasbro’s “Littlest Pet Shop” pony, they point out, has small parts that could pose a choking hazard.

Those are among the toys in the annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, according to Ashley Afranie-Sakyi of PennPIRG (below).

“There’s been over 150 recalls thanks to our report that we’ve released for the past 28 years,” she said today, “but there’s always more that can be done.”

(Ashley Afranie-Sakyi of PennPIRG demonstrates how parents can use an ordinary toilet paper roll to see if a toy is too small for toddlers: if it fits through the roll, it presents a choking hazard, she says. Photo by Mike DeNardo)

(Ashley Afranie-Sakyi of PennPIRG. Photo by Mike DeNardo)


Meanwhile, the Consumer Product Safety Commission can’t do it all, says US Rep. Chaka Fattah (D-Pa.) — “not to the degree that it can inspect all of the products.  Most of the toys that are going to be on our shelves have not been inspected, and we need to do more,” he said.

Advocates warn that most of all, parents need to be vigilant.

The entire report can be found at

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