Five questions: Toy safety
Safe Kids Kansas offers tips for parents as they consider what presents to purchase during the holidays.
Q: What should you first consider when buying a toy?
A: Pay close attention to warning labels and manufacturer’s guidelines. Make sure to buy age-appropriate toys. It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s just right for your child.
Q: Why are minimum age restrictions important?
A: Warning labels and manufacturers’ instructions tell you how to use the product safely. If the manufacturer sets a minimum age or other restrictions, there’s a reason. A label reading “Not appropriate for children under 3” may be present because the toy poses a choking hazard, not because it’s too difficult for a 2-year-old.
Q: What small parts are particularly dangerous?
A: Avoid building sets with small magnets for children. Keep rare earth magnets and adult desktop magnet toys out of reach of children. Magnets are extremely dangerous if swallowed. Also, lithium button (coin-sized) batteries found in many devices can easily be swallowed by children. If a child swallows a battery, go to the emergency room immediately.
Q: What should parents keep in mind for gifts such as bicycles?
A: Riding toys account for the greatest number of toy-related injuries. remember that the gift isn’t complete without a helmet and appropriate protective gear.
Q: How can you check on an older toy’s safety?
A: If you buy toys secondhand or get hand-me-downs, visit recalls.gov to make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons. Sign up for email alerts on the Consumer Product Safety Commission website cpsc.gov or download the CPSC Recalls app to your smart phone to keep up-to-date on toy recalls beyond the holiday itself.