Toy safety this holiday season
‘Tis the season for buying copious amounts of toys for tots. All over the Internet are lists of the latest and greatest hot toys for the season. Toys that are educational and entertaining for all ages.
Buyer parents beware, however. The U.S. Public Interest Research Group released its 27th annual Trouble in Toyland survey recently. The report warned of all the toy hazards that are on store shelves this season. The lists are not meant to deter or scare parents from buying gifts for their children. They are meant to inform gift buyers so that they can make the most educated decisions.
Toxic toys are not as big an issue this year. Magnets, however, are a big deal. If a child swallows more than one, the ramifications can be life threatening.
Loud toys, anything that measures over 110 decibels can cause permanent hearing damage or loss with prolonged use.
Tips for buying “safe” toys:
• Shop with a cardboard toilet paper roll. It’s about the size of a child’s esophagus. If a toy can fit in the roll, it’s a choking hazard.
• Less expensive toys can be easier to break. Those broken pieces can cause damage. Even if it’s just the parent stepping on it when it’s buried in the carpet.
• There are age recommendations for a reason. Use caution when buying a toy for a 2 year old that isn’t age appropriate.
• Cheap, metal jewelry have toxins that, if swallowed, can leak into a child’s system.
• When you’re shopping online, pay attention to consumer comments and the manufacturers’ recommendations.
• When you are buying toys for older children, keep in mind that there are usually smaller parts included.
• Any toy that included a ball with a diameter of 1.75 cm or less is a choking hazard.
• Crayons and paint sets marked with “ASTM D-4236” means the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist and may have cautionary information packets.
• If a toy has a cord, it could get wrapped around a young child’s neck.
Remember, when shopping for toys, it’s best to err on the side of caution, especially when buying toys for our children, our hearts.
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