PIRG Releases Annual 'Trouble in Toyland" List

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Springfield - The toys on a table inside St. Jude's Children's Hospital Tuesday may have looked like fun, and some of them may look like a great educational tool for children.

However, according to the Illinois Public Interest Research Group (PIRG), those toys come with a risk of danger.

"Children can choke on small balls and that's a very serious hazard.  They often have to go to the emergency room.  Between 2005 and 2013, at least 65 children have choked to death on balloons, balls, toys, and parts of toys," said PIRG campaign coordinator Naomi Pitkin.

Other potential hazards with toys are toxic chemicals, being too loud at harmful levels, and harmful magnets if swallowed.

That's why some say it's important to be well trained on first aid and CPR in case your child is injured or chokes on a toy they're playing with.

"We all know that kids are going to get into things.  You try to watch them as much as you can.  When things happen and when accidents happen, it's good to be prepared and to feel prepared to know how to deal with an emergency situation.  First you'd always want to call 911 first, but while you're waiting for the ems to get there to know what to do if someone's choking, if someone can't breath, if you've got an injury or a cut, or something like that, to know what to do in that event is invaluable for families," said Tammy Hardwick, St. John's Children's Hospital pediatrics clinical facilitator.

The PIRG group says more than 150 recalls and other enforcement actions have been taken by toy companies.

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