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Report released on toys to avoid during holidays

Some of the toys reviewed by PIRG are shown. (KTAR Photo/Bob McClay)

PHOENIX -- The U.S. Public Interest Group (PIRG) released Tuesday it's 28th annual list of toys to avoid giving children for the holiday season.

PIRG is worried about toys that may be too noisy for kids, like the Little Leapfrog phone. When it was played during a press conference Tuesday at Phoenix Children's Hospital, it didn't sound that loud. But the toy is intended to be held close to the ear, meaning kids are exposed to sounds as loud as 85 decibels.

"The National Institute on Deafness and other Communication Disorders says that prolonged exposure to 85 decibels and above can cause hearing loss in any age range," Arizona PIRG's Shania Shay said. "They advise that close-to-ear toys should not produce continuous noise above 65 decibels."

The group also said that toys that pose a choking hazard to children under the age of 3 are also available in stores.

Shay said it's easy to find out if a toy is too small for a young child, and, therefore, a potential choking hazard.

"If a toy or a toy part fits into a toilet paper roll, then it's too small for a child under three," she said.

Greenbriar International's Princess Wand and Hasbro's Littlest Pet Ship are two toys that PIRG said are choking hazards.

PIRG also said it foun the Captain American soft shield has nearly 30 times the legal amount of lead.

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About the Author


Years with the company: I started on January 2, 2006.

Education: I was born in San Antonio, Texas, but we moved to Phoenix when I was one-year-old in 1957. I grew up here and graduated from Alhambra High School and attended Phoenix College.

Family: I am married to my wife Rene', who is a librarian in the Washington school district. During free time, I may be found playing basketball in the driveway with my son, Devin. He's also keeping me busy with school, Little League, and playing in chess tournaments around the Valley.

Favorite food: Lots of favorite food, but our favorite restaurant is Fajitas.

Favorite spot in Arizona: The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff.

Favorite news memory: We have to go back to October 15, 1979. I was a country music air personality at KROP Radio in Brawley, California, when we had a 6.7 earthquake. Thankfully, there were no deaths and only minor injuries, but the entire community was pretty freaked out and listening to the station on their transistor radios. I would not want to go through an earthquake again, but it sure was a great night to work in radio and see how it can make a difference in people's lives.

First job: Working as a stringer for 'The Arizona Republic' at high school football games. My first real job was flipping burgers at the old Sandy's Hamburgers at 51st Avenue and Indian School Road. My first radio job was as announcer at KALJ radio in Yuma in 1977.

First concert: Doug Oldham gospel concert in the 1970s at the old East High School in Phoenix.

Favorite sports team: Phoenix Roadrunners minor league hockey. My dad took me to a game when I was in grade school, and I was hooked. I wanted to be a radio hockey play-by-play man. I used to take my cassette recorder and sit up in the rafters of the Coliseum and do play-by-play. It was great later in life to also take my son to Roadrunners games. Too bad the team just folded, I'll miss them. (Going to the Coyotes is fun, but they're not "my" team.)

Outside interests: My family and I are active in our church - Northern Hills Community Church in Phoenix. We enjoy going to movies, sporting events, and like to vacation at the Beach Cottages in the Pacific Beach area of San Diego. And I love to play catch, basketball, football with my son.

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