Whether you’re the yard sale seller or buyer consumer advocates warn you should look out for toy hazards such as small parts, loud sounds, soft plastics and lead contamination.
These dangers were highlighted by the U.S. Public Interest Research Group in its annual “Trouble in Toyland” report, the first since sweeping consumer safety legislation went into effect earlier this year.
“This is definitely a time when people are going to be thinking about making purchases for the holidays, so we want people to be aware of these hazards,” said Elizabeth Hitchcock, public health advocate for U.S. PIRG.
The organization focused on four hazards: small parts that can choke children younger than 3-years-old, loud toys that can cause hearing damage, lead-tainted toys and soft plastic toys that contain chemicals called phthalates.
If you’re shopping a garage sale and have a smart phone, check out ToySafety.mobi, specially designed for use with mobile phones, to look up toy hazards while shopping.
Recently there have been massive recalls on select cribs and stollers, most notably the “Drop-side” baby cribs, in some cases causing death, and Maclaren Strollers that have posed a serious safety threat to young children’s hands and fingers where they could get pinched. It’s always best to be aware of children’s items and recalls prior to shopping, but be especially cautious when shopping for second-hand items at garage sales. It’s not worth the risk to your child to save some extra money.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission along with the US Government ruled in a new law that it would be illegal to sell recalled items at any consignment, thrift store or garage sale.
Remember “buyer beware” and when it comes to your kids’ safety, don’t jeopardize it by trying to save money on a product in question sold secondhand.
So who’s really responsible, the buyer or seller? What if a seller unknowingly sells an item – or deems them usable for “parts?”
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