As kids are getting their holiday toy lists ready, parents in Connecticut and around the country are trying to discern which toys are actually safe to purchase. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group provides safety guidelines for consumers when buying toys for small children and gives examples of toys presently on store shelves that may be potential safety hazards.

According to the public-interest group’s latest annual survey of toys, some children’s toys on the shelves for the holidays present some possible danger. The “Trouble in Toyland” report is the 28th edition of the U.S. PIRG’s annual review of toys before the holiday season. The group analyzed 50 toys, and violations were found in fewer than twelve, including a Captain America toy shield and play jewelry.

Several toys that could cause young children to choke or toys with high lead levels were found at major retailers and discount stores in the last few months, the organization said. Small parts that could be a choking danger were found in six toys that the group said did not have the required warning labels for children. PIRG said three toys were too loud and surpassed federal limits on decibels: two Leap Frog phones for toddlers – the Lil’ Phone Pal and the Chat & Count phone and the Fisher Price Laugh & Learn remote.

PIRG said the report cited the Captain America Soft Shield purchased at Toys R Us as one of the toys that had 29 times the legal limit of lead. A box of toy jewelry from Dollar General store tested positive for lead twice the legal limit.

Parents should continue to be vigilant about metals in toys as they may contain lead and be considered dangerous products. Examine toys carefully for potential dangers before you make a purchase.

Source:, “Toy recalls down, but hazards remain” Jennifer C. Ker, Nov. 26, 2013