Though most recalled toys are yanked from store shelves, some find their way onto resale websites and eventually into the home.
If you're shopping for holiday gifts online, it's something to keep in mind. To help diminish the risk of allowing a defunct or dangerous product into your household, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has once again issued her Safe Shopping Guide, a 42-page PDF document packed with photos and product descriptions of products recalled in 2011. It's available at the Illinois Attorney General's website and is attached here as a PDF.
“This guide is an easy-to-use resource for parents who are already busy enough without monitoring the dizzying number of recalls and dangerous products. I encourage everyone to use this guide as they make holiday purchases and to check their homes for dangerous products," Madigan said in a news release. Here's a couple examples of recalled toys from this year's list:
Pottery Barn Kids Dolls: Dolls sold under the names Audrey, Chloe and Sophie contains strands of fake hair or headbands that expand to loops large enough to fit around a child's head and neck, causing a potential choking hazard.
IKEA Folding Tent: The steel frame of this collapsible tent can break, causing sharp wires to protrude from the fabric.
Bravo Sports Disney-Branded Pogo Sticks: The bottom tip of the sticks can wear out early, causing a risk of falls, and the end caps on the handlebars can come off, exposing sharp metal ends.
Madigan is also raising awareness of another modern danger: "Button" batteries, the disc-like batteries that power small electronics. If swallowed, the batteries can quickly damage the esophagus, vocal chords and aorta.
According to Madigan's office, the Illinois Poison Center has received 173 calls related to button battery ingestion in the past two years, and the majority of those calls—147—have involved children or teens. Since 2008, 10 child deaths across the country have been attributed to ingestion of the batteries.
According to a Nov. 22 Chicago Tribune story, some lawmakers are trying to combat the problem through legislation, although those efforts remain in committee.
Meanwhile, one of the leading manufacturers of the batteries, Energizer, has teamed up with Safe Kids USA to create "The Battery Controlled" safety campaign. The campaign's website is filled with stats, prevention tips and emergency measures in case a child has swallowed a battery. They've also created a Twitter feed and Facebook page.