Treacherous Toys: How to tell if your gifts are dangerous

dangerous toys

Thousands of families across the country will be waking up to presents under the tree but some of those toys may not be safe for your children.

Action figures, toy trucks and princess crowns often make a child’s Christmas list but the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency says parents should beware.

Roland Suliveras, with the U.S. Customs Border Protection Agency, said, “Just take a little bit of time before you open up the wallet and bring out the credit card or the cash. Take a look at the product.”

Some toys allow toddlers easy access to batteries, which could be dangerous.

Suliveras said, “For a toddler that would be playing with this, they’d have direct access to these batteries, which would cause bodily harm.”

Parents should also keep an eye on toys that contain high levels of lead.

Experts say many of the products arrive in the United States through Miami International Airport and then spread throughout the country.

He said, “This year, we actually ranked in the top five for seizures in IPRs.”

High quantities of counterfeit smart phones and pirated movies also make their way to south Florida during the holiday season.

Suliveras said, “You’re spending a lot of good money on some of these products and they are actually fake.”

The drop test is one way to know whether a toy should end up under the tree.

He said, “Depending upon what falls off this toy, or how it actually breaks, then we’ll look at it to find out if it’s actually dangerous for a child.”

U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents also encourage customers to do some research online before buying the products.