Better Business Bureau (BBB) is ready with some helpful information to help parents choose toys which are both safe and age appropriate for children this holiday season.
Not long ago, lawn darts were sought after toys that made many family wish lists. Now, most parents cringe at the idea of giving their children flying projectiles with sharp metal tips. Safety has become paramount to both toy manufacturers and law makers. When it comes to toy-related injuries, a person’s head and facial areas are the ones most commonly affected by trauma.
If your holiday gift list includes toys and games, your BBBoffers consumers the following advice to help ensure the toys you are considering are safe:
- Find out which toys have been recalled. Before buying, visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to determine if a toy or product has been recalled. If so, check the guidelines for what to do next.
- Make sure the toy is age-appropriate. Find out how old a child is before making a purchase. Consumers should read and follow the manufacturer suggestions which are listed on the package or toy, such as “Not recommended for children under 3.” Watch for other safety labels on cloth toys which indicate whether an item is “Flame retardant” or “Flame resistant.”
- Be cautious of older toys or hand-me-downs. While buying a gently used toy might be more cost effective, it may not meet current safety standards. Toys that are excessively worn from play may break more easily and become hazardous.
- Be careful when shopping online. Internet toy vendors may not be as vigilant as brick and mortar stores about pulling recalled products off the shelf or flagging bar codes.
In addition, it is also important to be aware of safety hazards once the toys have been opened. Once toys are opened, CPSC suggests you:
- Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other packaging before they become dangerous play things.
- Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
- Supervise all battery charging. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.