NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - From a seemingly safe Hello Kitty play phone to sparkly lip gloss and cute toy bracelets, plenty of holiday gifts exist that could pose a potentially serious hidden hazard for your kids, a consumer report said Tuesday.
The 18th annual "Trouble in Toyland" report by the Washington-based U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) warned parents that many dangerous toys still are being sold despite the passage of the 1994 Child Safety Protection Act.
According to PIRG, more than 212,000 people, including 72,000 children younger than five, sought emergency treatment in 2002 from toy-related injuries that also resulted in 13 deaths.
"Even one toy-related death is too many, because these deaths are preventable," PIRG director Alison Cassady said in a statement.
Click here for more on the "Trouble in Toyland" report.
PIRG said it visited numerous toy stores and other retailers to find potentially dangerous toys and identify the trends in toy safety.
The report focused on four top categories of toy danger: choking hazards, dangerously loud toys, strangulation hazards or dangerous projectiles, and toxic chemical hazards.
Choking on small toy parts, small balls and balloons remains the leading cause of toy-related injuries and deaths, the report said, warning about such toys as Dora the Explorer bracelets and Hello Kitty figurines.
Water Yo-Yo Ball and Yo-Yo Meteoric Ball pose a strangulation risk to kids, while products such as Hello Kitty nail polish and Strawberry Shortcake scented nail polish are potentially toxic to small children, PIRG said.
The report also said that the Hello Kitty play phone and the Fisher-Price's Learn Through Music toy were dangerously loud for young children.
Fisher-Price told CNN/Money in a statement that all of its toys mentioned in PIRG's report are "designed for children 3 and up and comply fully with all federal regulations, industry standards and our own internal stringent standards."
"More specifically, all of the toy pieces PIRG alleges to be dangerous do, in fact, comply with all of the standards and we are confident that they are perfectly safe for children three and up," the company said.
Hello Kitty's corporate parent, Sanrio Corp., could not immediately be reached for comment.
Pamela Johnston, a spokeswoman for the Toy Industry Association (TIA) said the PIRG's report could unnecessarily alarm parents.
"These organizations seems to attack toys when they are the safest consumer products that can be brought into the home," said Johnston. "Your child is more likely to get hurt by a mattress or a pillow or home exercise equipment, or even choke on a hot dog or popcorn. If toy-related accidents do happen, it's mostly because of misuse."