Customs agents in Miami have seized several shipments of toys from China considered dangerous by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
The toys contained hazardous materials, including lead paint, or had small parts that pose choking hazards for children.
One shipment contained nearly 22,000 toys that had one or both violations. Another contained 444 lighters in the shapes of farm animals, complete with realistic sounds, that children could have mistaken for toys.
The items were headed all over the country, although Customs and Border Patrol would not specify which stores. Spokesman Jose Castellano said some items may have been intended for roadside stands and small businesses.
Other products intercepted this year include black toy guns that could be easily confused for real firearms and yellow toy ducks with lead paint.
This year, the federal government lowered the limits for lead in paint on children's toys to 90 parts per million, which is among the lowest in the world, and most children's toys must meet these and other standards, some of which were voluntary.
In 2008, the agency had reports of 19 toy-related deaths and about 172,700 hospital emergency room treated toy-related injuries to children under 15. Almost half affected children younger than 5. Most of the deaths were associated with drowning, motor vehicles or airway obstruction from a small toy or small part of a toy.
Last year, imports from China accounted for 60 precent of products seized by Customs for safety and security problems, Castellano said.
Toys that have been recalled by the federal consumer protection agency are listed at cpsc.gov/cpscpub/prerel/category/toy.html and include pictures of the items.