MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Federal border agents in Miami have been busy this holiday season.
Thursday morning, Customs and Border Protection officials showed off hundreds of items that look like fun but are actually dangerous for your kids. They’re toys seized before they could ever make it onto store shelves.
There were chocolate kinder eggs filled with small toys capable of choking a child and also brightly painted toys and backpacks covered in lead filled paint.
These were just some of the hundreds of illegally imported toys being brought into South Florida that were pulled out of local seaports and airports.
“The items that we have here in front of you, whether they present a choking hazard, whether it’s a hazard from high lead content or, as we mentioned before with the walking ball, a high impact injury, it is the holiday season and we understand families are out there shopping and trying to save a few pennies because of the economic situation but we want them to make an educated decision when they are out there purchasing toys and gifts for kids, for children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews,” said Vernon Foret of Customs and Border Protection in Miami.
Toy safety experts say brand name toys have usually been checked out as part of their formal importation process before they are sold to big name retailers and are usually safer than older toys which are commonly sold around town at garage sales and flea markets.
The CBP said in most of the cases, the seized toys found in South Florid are manufactured in China. High levels of lead in toys can be dangerous to children. According to CPSC, lead poisoning in children can lead to neurological damage, delayed mental and physical development, attention and learning deficiencies, and hearing problems. Because lead continues to accumulate in the body, even exposure to small amounts can increase the level of lead in the blood and the associated health risks.