The Practicing Parent: Trouble in Toyland

86,000 toys were taken off the shelves last year in the United States because they were dangerous.

Even though there are now tighter safety restrictions on toy manufacturers, Dalyn Houser with the consumer advocacy group PIRG says "potentially hazardous toys still litter our toy shelves."

Houser says the American Academy of Pediatrics lead limit is 40 parts-per-million. Federal regulations allow 100 parts-per-million.

"A lot of jewelry, shiny, metallic jewelry usually has lead or cadmium," Houser said.

Some other toys that the Public Interest Research Group deemed potentially dangerous are dragster cars, play food, morphobot, snake eggs, funkeys car keys, and balloons.

Some holiday gift buying tips:

Bigger is better for children under three.

Stay away from soft plastic which could contain too much pvc, and check out recall lists on the Consumer Product and Safety Commission website.

The Public Interest Research Group releases a Trouble in Toyland report every year in late November. You can check it out at