Toy Safety

Guidance for Grown-Ups. Menstuff® has gathered information on Toy Safety including important safety tips from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. See What to Look for When Choosing Toys for Kids.

Toy Tips
'Dangerous Toy' List Helps Parents keep Children Safe
What Toy Labels Really Mean
When Buying Toys
When Maintaining Toys
When Storing Toys
All Toys Are Not For All Kids
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Toy Tips


'Dangerous Toy' List Helps Parents keep Children Safe


Experts are urging safety-conscious Santas to work in reverse this year! and toss out dangerous toys by the sack-full. "We can get recalled toys off store shelves, but the more difficult task is to get recalled toys out of people's homes," said Ann Brown, chairman of the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). www.healthcentral.com/news/newsfulltext.cfm?ID=45814&src=n49

What Toy Labels Really Mean


The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC_ requires that toy labels let parents know if, and why, a toy is unsafe. Yet a survey of more than 900 adults has found that one-third of them believe that age of a label refers to a child's developmental ability. Think safety, no "smarts," when you read the label. The labels will help you make a safe purchase for a baby or toddler and tell you when an older child's toy should be kept away from a younger sibling. Parents Tips & Tricks

When Buying Toys


Choose toys with care. Keep in mind the child's age, interests and skill level. Look for quality design and construction in all toys for all ages.

Make sure that all directions or instructions are clear to you and when appropriate, to the child. Plastic wrapping on toys should be discarded at once before they become deadly playthings.

Be a label reader. Look for and heed age recommendations, such as "Not recommended for children under three."  Look for other safety labels including:  "Flame retardant/Flame resistant" on fabric products and washable/hygienic materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.


When Maintaining Toys


Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. A damaged or dangerous toy should be thrown away or repaired immediately.

Edges on wooden toys that might have become sharp or surfaces covered with splinters should be sanded smooth. When repainting toys and toy boxes, avoid using leftover paint, unless purchased recently, since older paints may contain more lead than new paint, which is regulated by CPSC. Examine all outdoor toys regularly for rust or weak parts that could become hazardous.


When Storing Toys


Teach children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls.

Toy boxes, too, should be checked for safety. Use a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position to which it is raised, and will not fall unexpectedly on a child. For extra safety, be sure there are ventilation holds for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze. See that toys used outdoors are stored after play - rain or dew can rust or damage a variety of toys and toy parts, creating hazards.


All Toys Are Not For All Kids


Keep toys designed for older children out of the hands of little ones. Follow labels that give age recommendations--some toys are recommended for older children because they may be hazardous in the hands of a young child. Teach older children to help keep their toys away from younger brothers and sisters.

Even balloons, when uninflated or broken can choke or suffocate if young children try to swallow them. More children have suffocated on uninflated balloons than on any other type of toy.

Electric Toys: Electric toys that are improperly constructed, wired or misused can shock or burn. Electric toys must meet mandatory requirements for maximum surface temperatures, electrical construction and prominent warning labels. Electric toys with heating elements are recommended only for children over eight years old. Children should be taught to use electric toys properly and under adult supervision.

Infant Toys: Infant toys, such as rattles, squeeze toys, and teethers, should be large enough to that they cannot enter and become lodged in the infant's throat.

The Commission's Responsibility: Under the Federal Hazardous Substance Act and the Consumer Product Safety Act, the Commission has set safety regulations for certain toys and other children's articles. Manufacturers must design and manufacture their products to meet these regulations so that hazardous products are not sold.

Your Responsibility: Protecting children from unsafe toys is the responsibility of everyone. Careful toy selection and proper supervision of children at play is still - and always will be - the best way to protect children from toy-related injuries. To report a product-related injury write to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Washington, DC 20207. Or call the toll-free hotline at 800.638.2772.

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