SAFECHILD.NET'S Top 5 Toy Safety Tips
- CHECK AGE LABELS: Don't confuse age labels with your child's intellectual ability to play with the toy or game. Just because your child enjoys, understands or can play with the toy or game doesn't mean it's safe for him or her. Age labels are safety, not development ratings!
- BEWARE OF CHOKING: For infants, toddlers and all children who still put objects in their mouths, avoid toys with small parts that could pose a fatal choking hazard. Unfortunately, the government standard for choking hazards is too weak. Many objects that will pass the test can easily choke a child. Rattles, balls, blocks and other small parts should be at least 1.75 inches in diameter. SafeChild.net recommends this simple test: If the item can fit inside a toilet paper roll, keep it away from small children.
- EXAMINE THE TOY: Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly secured eyes, nose and other potential small parts and well-sewn seams on stuffed animals and cloth dolls. Be sure that eyes, noses, ribbons, buttons and other decorative items can't break or be pulled off. For all children under eight, avoid toys with sharp edges and points.
- AVOID KNOWN HAZARDS: Avoid toys that can be shot or propelled. Do not let your child put caps in his pockets. They can easily ignite and cause burns. Discard plastic wrappings on toys immediately, before they become deadly playthings. Never let your child play with latex balloons including uninflated balloons or balloon parts. Avoid toys that make loud noises, such as cap guns, as they can damage a child's hearing. Strings and ribbons on toys should be no longer than six inches to prevent strangulation.
- REGULARLY CHECK THE SAFECHILD.NET WEBSITE FOR RECALLS: Millions of toys are recalled every year and parents never find out about them. The only way to protect your child from these hidden hazards is to KNOW about them. Log on to SafeChild.net and check the status of the toys your child has, and then check back every month for updates. SafeChild.net is unbiased, advertiser free and dedicated to just one thing: keeping your child safe!
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