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AZ Public Interest Research Group Has Latest List of Dangerous Toys

Howard Fischer
Capitol Media Services

The Public Interest Research Group is warning parents shopping for Christmas that Dora the Explorer can be hazardous.

No, it's not the TV show. The problem according to PIRG's Monica Flores is the Dora toy guitar -- and specifically, the noise.

Flores said a major hearing safety group says 65 decibels is the maximum for what should be close to the ear. Toys meant to be at least 10 inches away can be up to 85 decibels.

"The Dora the Explorer guitar actually exceeds the more generous one of those standards at 93 decibels," Flores said.

Flores also singled out a Dora backpack because it's made with phthalates, a chemical used to make plastics softer which has been linked to developmental and reproductive health problems. Flores said while the level is legally permissible, federal regulators should require a warning tag like is already mandated in California. Dr. Kathy Graziano of Phoenix Children's Hospital separately cautioned of the increasing problem of small magnets now in everything from remote controls to singing greeting cards.

"Kids will sometimes swallow one of those at one time and then swallow another one a few hours later. Those parts, in the intestines, come together and make a hole," Graziano said.

And Graziano warned that almost anything a baby thinks is interesting will go in the mouth.