Ensure Toy Safety With Help From The CPSC

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When you head out to the shopping malls over the coming weeks, your biggest safety concern may be dealing with the throngs of people filling the aisles.  But there’s one thing you need to approach in the most cautious manner possible, and that’s purchasing toys for your children.

Labels are on toys for a reason, but sometimes even those aren’t adequate.  Toys get recalled for seemingly benign oversights that can nevertheless pose serious safety hazards to children.  Take into account your child’s maturity level before any purchase, and for the utmost protection, you may think about the insights provided in a safety guide from the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Understanding the hazards that may unknowingly be posed by a given toy is essential, starting with small parts.  If a toy has small parts, it should have a label outlining that it’s only to be used by kids over the age of three.  Where this becomes somewhat complicated is if your home has an older child and a younger one who tend to intermingle their toys.  Do what you can to minimize exposure to small objects, even if that means separating play areas or avoiding those toys that have small parts until all children are the appropriate age.

Anything with a string is likewise going to be potentially dangerous to a child under a certain age.  Something like a small pull-toy looks cute, but the string can get wrapped around a child’s neck.  You also have to use caution with clothing that has drawstrings.  Such a component should not be on such an article of clothing for youngsters, but the presence of it leads to recalls every year.

You also have to be wary of anything that could pose a laceration hazard, the type of risk that usually happens when an otherwise safe toy gets worn down or broken.  Suddenly, sharp plastic edges could now pose a threat to your child, and the best way to guard against this threat is to keep tabs on your child’s toy usage.  Although a child may throw a fit if you try to take a favorite toy from them, you may be able to repair it so that they won’t get hurt.

There are also limits to how loud a given toy should be, and while most toys should adhere to these, there’s always the risk that a child could bring an item too close to their ears.  This is an especial danger with things like cap guns.

Finally, no matter what you purchase for your children for the holidays, make sure that all items are stored in an adequate manner.  That way, tripping isn’t a possibility.  Also invest in a toy chest that would be safe for your children (it won’t snap shut, it has air holes in case a child gets trapped inside).