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15 December 2010

Give safe toys this holiday season

Whether it's due to the demands of commercial-addled kids or the good intentions of exuberant gift-givers, the concept of toy safety is often lost over the holidays.

Whether it's due to the demands of commercial-addled kids or the good intentions of exuberant gift-givers, the concept of toy safety is often lost over the holidays.

Labels often ignored

  • Toys with small, removable parts. The parts can pose a choking hazard to children under age 3. Use a small parts tester - it can be purchased at a toy or baby specialty store - to measure the size of the toy or part. If the piece fits inside the tube, then it is considered a choking hazard.
  • Toys with sharp points or edges. Children may unintentionally cut themselves or another person.
  • Toys that produce loud noises. Toy guns and high-volume portable cassette recorders can permanently impair a child's hearing.
  • Propelled toy darts and other projectiles. They can cause cuts or serious eye injuries.
  • Toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches. Long strings and cords can become wrapped around a child's neck and strangle him or her.
  • Electric toys. These are a potential burn hazard. Avoid toys with a heating element battery or electrical plugs if your children are under the age of 8.
  • Toys painted with lead paint. Exposure can result in lead poisoning, causing serious damage to a child's brain, kidneys and nervous system.
  • Toy cap guns. Paper roll, strip or ring caps can be ignited by the slightest friction and cause burns.

 
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