AUSTIN (Nexstar) — Congressman Lloyd Doggett and an advocacy group warned Texans of the potential dangers in some children’s toys Monday. 

The Texas Public Interest Research Group (TexPIRG) Education Fund held a press conference with Doggett to discuss the findings of the latest Trouble in Toyland — an annual report that examines trends to determine the potential dangers of toys typically bought for the holiday season. 

“There’s nothing quite as exciting as seeing the smile on a child’s face as packages are opened at Christmas or Hanukkah. But the dangers are sometimes not as obvious,” said Doggett. 

In 2020, an estimated 198,000 toy-related injuries for different age groups were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments. 

The main points highlighted in this report center around parent, manufacturer and distributor responsibility. Online sellers are also potential risks buyers should be aware of. 

“Sometimes those online sales will continue to sell toys that have either been recalled or which pose very obvious dangers,” said Doggett. 

TexPIRG recommends parents and caregivers check their kids’ toys and beware of online sellers that are selling popular, in-demand toys at a reduced price and toys that were previously unavailable that are now available online as they may be counterfeit.   

Doggett and TexPIRG urged Congress to pass the INFORM Consumers Act, introduced in 2021, that aims to stop the sale of stolen, counterfeit or dangerous consumer products including toys.  

Another TexPIRG recommendation is parents and caregivers should inspect new toys thoroughly and periodically for wear and tear when giving them to young children. 

“It’s very important in working with purchases to consider not only the child that it’s being purchased for but the children who may be around that toy,” said Doggett. 

One way to check for a potential choking hazard is by using an empty toilet paper roll. 

“If the piece will fall through the cylinder… they do pose a problem for younger children,” Doggett said.

You can also check for recalled toys at saferproducts.gov.