The Captain America Soft Shield tops the list of products to avoid during the holiday season. The US Public Interest Research Group determined the shields contain dangerous amounts of lead. The researchers found 2,900 parts per million, which is 29 times the legal standard for lead.
The annual PIRG Trouble in Toyland report focused on several hazards commonly found in children's toys. The products were purchased in numerous stores including specialty shops, national chains, and dollar stores. Researchers purchased the products between September and November 2013.
Most frightening, the PIRG found that lead and other toxins were present in several children's products. In addition to the Captain America Shield, Rings from Dollar General were also found to contain dangerous levels of lead. The Ninja Turtles Pencil Case tested positive for dangerous levels of banned metals phthalate and cadmium, which are both toxic.
The PIRG Trouble in Toyland report also identified several toys that present a choking hazard. The list includes toys with parts that are small or "near" small. The researchers focused on toys that could mistakenly end up in the hands of children under the age of three.
Products presenting a choking hazard include the Littlest Pet Shop Candyswirl Dreams, Seal and Dolphins, #2744 Horse, and Sunil Nevla. The researchers also cautioned against purchasing play jewelry, beads, and products containing small play food items.
Also included on the list are products that can damage a child's hearing. The Lamaze Take and Tidy Activity Mat, Chat and Count Smart Phone, Lil' Pal Phone, Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Remote, and Monster High Skelita Halloween Costume, were found to make loud noises that can pose a risk to a small child's hearing.
The PIRG also lists several magnet toys that contain small parts, which may be a choking hazard. The researchers specifically identified Sonic Sound Sizzlers Noise Magnets as a possible choking hazard.
The Trouble in Toyland report also includes a list of toy related deaths between 2001 and 2012. According to the report, children are most likely to choke on balloons, small balls, marbles, and small toy parts. In the 12 years listed, a total of 94 children died from choking on toys.
A total of 162 children were killed while using other toys, including scooters, riding toys, and toy chests.
One of this year's biggest concerns is the Captain America shield. If a child gets lead in their mouth it can lead to problems with the central nervous system and brain development.
[Image via Flickr]