Consumer Safety Agency Urges Parental Vigilance in Purchasing Toys

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators are assuring parents that it's safe to buy toys -- if they're careful.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission is urging parents to "stay informed" about safety risks by reading product warning labels and signing up for e-mail notification of recalls.

Lead hazards posed by toys made in China have prompted a record number of toy recalls in recent months. And consumer groups say dangerous toys are still on store shelves.

In a four-day investigation, the Center for Environmental Health found that 9 out of the 100 toys it purchased had high levels of lead, and another six had more than trace levels of lead.

And in a 57-page annual survey, U.S. PIRG said toys with small magnets as well as small parts that pose choking hazards create significant risks.

CPSC head Nancy Nord says toys are under more intense scrutiny than ever before.

But she says parents should be extra cautious with toys that have small parts or projectiles and those that are ridden, such as skateboards.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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