Toy Association Uses Facts to Combat False ‘Dangerous’ Toy Reports
December 3, 2019 | This year, The Toy Association provided parents and caregivers with new shopping tips to help avoid the hidden dangers of counterfeits toys this holiday and shop safe year-round. Following the annual release of certain NGO groups’ alleged “unsafe” toy lists in November, the results of these toy industry efforts are causing the tides to shift in favor of real facts about the safety of all toys sold in the U.S.
Challenging the erroneous claims recently made by W.A.T.C.H (World Against Toys Causing Harm) and U.S. PIRG (Public Interest Research Group), media coverage included The Toy Association’s messaging on the 100+ federal toy safety tests and standards in place to protect children.
- Of the total coverage of W.A.T.C.H.’s alleged “10 Most Dangerous Toys” list, The Toy Association was mentioned in 65 percent of published news articles and broadcast segments. Some outlets, including U.S News & World Report, led with comments from The Toy Association.
W.A.T.C.H. still does not test the toys in its report; instead, the group focused on products with safety instructions and warnings, as if responsibly providing safety information to consumers is somehow an indication that a product cannot be safe for use or for sale, when the opposite is true.
- Coverage of U.S. PIRG’s annual “Trouble in Toyland” report dropped 26 percent from last year, while The Toy Association was mentioned in 10 percent more news articles and segments than in 2018.
Most of PIRG’s report featured products that were previously recalled and are no longer available. Several items in the report were not toys (such as children’s jewelry, musical instruments, magnets, and balloons), misleading parents and undermining the toy industry’s ongoing commitment to safety. In addition, PIRG continued to push the use of a toilet paper roll to test for choking hazards; using a federally approved Small Parts Tester (available online) is the only appropriate tool to test small objects found around the home.
"Toy safety doesn’t take a holiday," said Steve Pasierb, president & CEO at The Toy Association. "The Toy Association works year-round to educate parents and caregivers to always shop at reputable stores and verified online retailers and to exercise caution when buying toys from lesser-known sellers, as these vendors may not be monitoring for recalled products or selling legitimate toys that comply with U.S. laws. We also advise parents to always make sure the age grade of the toy matches the age of your child."
Parents and caregivers can learn more important safety advice – including tips for avoiding counterfeits – at www.PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s free resource for families. Members are also advised to reach out to The Toy Association’s communications team should they receive media questions about toy safety.