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Long List of Toys Flagged for Potential Risks

November 25, 2005|From Newsday

NEW YORK — The Elmo Talking Cell Phone is too noisy for children, and small kids shouldn't be left alone with Mr. Potato Head because they may choke on its parts, one nonprofit group advises.

In time for Christmas, a long list of toys was flagged for potential problems, especially for younger children, the New York Public Interest Research Group said in its annual survey.

The organization sent 71 field representatives to 45 shops, such as toy stores, drugstores and discount stores, in New York, Long Island and surrounding areas.

One of the consistent warnings regards small toy parts that could be swallowed by small children, the group said. The nonprofit advocacy group said more children died or were seriously injured from choking on small toy parts than any other toy problem.

Lisa Marie Bongiovanni, a spokeswoman for Mattel, which also operates Fisher-Price, dismissed the warnings.

She said all toys cited by the group passed government standards.

"Clearly, toy safety is a year-round priority," she said.

Of the 17 stores the representatives checked out during the last two months in New York, they found 60 "hazardous" toys, 31 with choking hazards, three with strangulation problems and 14 with excessive noise.

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