Expert breaks down holiday recall toy dangers

Parents, your child could be playing with a recalled toy and you wouldn't know it. 

Over the past 12 months, the Consumer Product Safety Commission announced more than 40 recalls of toys and children's products, which equates to more than 2.7 million units.

So, what can you do to make sure those toys don't make it to your children's playrooms?

You'd think if a toy could cause harm to your child, like those exploding hoverboards, companies have to take responsibility for it, right? Think again says Carmen Balber from Consumer Watchdog.

“Depending on the product and the risk it causes sometimes retailers will also require to notify consumers but that is rare. Hasbro doesn’t have to send out an email when your crib has been recalled. There's no law that requires them to, unfortunately,” said Balber. 

So it's up to you, parents, to make sure your child's toy isn't a hazard.

“The only route consumers have to be certain is to search a product online and search the word 'recall.'"

If you buy something at a garage sale or a pre-owned toy, that search is your best defense! In addition, there are websites that can help. 

The website is the Consumer Product Safety Commission, which lists currently recalled products at the top of the site. 

“The last thing retailers want to do is spend money to telling you their products are no longer safe and they have lobbied in congress and across the states to make sure they don't have to do that,” said Balber.

There are also organizations that do the homework for you. 

As it always does at this time of year, the organization, World Against Toys Causing Harm, or WATCH, issued its list of the toys it considers to be among the most dangerous.

The Nerf Ultra One is on the list. Nickelodeon Frozen Treats Slime looks like something you could eat,  but shouldn't! 

WATCH claims that the Power Ranger Electronic Cheetah Claw has the potential to claw an eye out. 

The Toy Association condemned the WATCH list, saying each toy must go through more than 100 "rigorous" safety tests. 
"To be perfectly honest it’s very difficult to know if a product that you are buying is recalled in general. The only way to be certain is to check the government website or do a search online,"  said Balber. 

Another good rule of thumb to keep your kids safe - especially your toddlers and babies - if a toy can fit through a toilet paper roll, then it is too small for them to play with and can be a choking hazard.