With Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday just behind us, and only 16 shopping days until Christmas, many people will be putting on comfortable shoes and heading to the malls and brick and mortar stores to check off everyone on their shopping lists.

Before you purchase just any toy on the shelf, read through the 29th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, released December 1, 2014 by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). The report outlines safety issues and provides safety guidelines, educating even the most savvy consumer (even personal injury attorneys!) about hidden dangers in children’s toys.

This year’s report focuses on potential choking hazards, “toxic” toys and battery hazards. The report provides examples of multiple toys containing small parts which could be considered choking hazards, and which do not have the proper warning labels. Potentially “toxic” toys were tested for the content of several different metals and chemicals, including lead (concentration must be < 100 ppm in children’s toys), chromium (concentration, when dissolved, must be 110 ppm lead, “Jake and the Neverland Pirates Tambourine”, also sold by Dollar Tree, which contains just under ten times the federal allowance for chromium at 580 ppm, and the “Hello Kitty” bracelet and hair clips accessory pack, sold by Jo-Ann Fabric and other craft stores, which contains over five times the legal concentration of Phthalates, at 5,100 ppm.

Also according to the report, “Our Generation: Sydney Lee” dolls sold by Target and “Disney Junior Doc McStuffins Figurine Playsets,” sold by Amazon, do not have the proper labeling relative to choking hazards and small parts. This report helps consumers to be wary of hidden dangers in products used by small children.

Once you have carefully and conscientiously completed your holiday shopping for 2014, take a look back at all of the gifts you purchased and received last year, and check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPCS) website to see if there are any safety recalls on those products. Some examples of recently recalled products include 11 models of Graco strollers (fingertip amputation hazard), “Hello Kitty” themed whistles (recalled by McDonald’s due to choking hazards), and Louis Garneau aerodynamic bicycle helmets (can fail to protect the user in cold weather). It is important to be knowledgeable, so that everyone stays safe and healthy this holiday season.

When you or someone you love is injured by a defective product, a personal injury lawyer should be consulted regarding the potential liability of the manufacturer and retailer. SUGARMAN has a team of dedicated personal injury attorneys who represent those who have been injured by defective products. If you have been hurt in an accident and wish to speak to one of our attorneys regarding liability, please fill out a Contact Form, call us at 617-542-1000 or e-mail info@sugarman.com. Also, please continue following SUGARMAN’s blog for information on matters affecting consumers and individuals.