Posts tagged with: toys

Toy Safety Tips

Summer time is always a busy toy time. Kids are out of school and have a lot of time to play. I want to share with you Toy Safety Tips by Malcolm Denniss: Technical Director for SGS Consumer Testing Services.

1. The most important aspect of buying gifts for children (whether for holidays or birthdays) is to make sure the toy or game is age-appropriate for the child. Nearly every toy or game will list the appropriate age on the box. The guidelines were developed by the US Consumer Product Safety Commission and Toy Industry Association, and take into account the typical ability of children to handle certain toys. Buying toys for children that are younger than the indicated age, even though we think a child may grow into it or is capable may lead to inappropriate play patterns and hazards that a child is not yet prepared for.

2. Children are naturally excited to play with new toys at holiday times, often in a robust and possibly in an overly enthusiastic manner. It is important that parents periodically check their children’s toys for any damage or breakage, which could create sharp edges or a choking hazard. If a toy looks damaged, take it away! If necessary, contact the manufacturer to verify that it is still safe to play with.

3. While toy shopping during the holidays, check recall notices at the toy or department store to verify none of child’s existing toys have been recalled and are still in your child’s room or toy box.

4. If you are buying toys for nephews, nieces, or other children that you may not see on a regular basis, it is always a good idea to check with the parents and make sure you know what they think is appropriate for the child, particularly for very young children where maturity can vary significantly. Be particularly careful when buying for children under the age of three years. This age group often still puts toys in their mouths, so check the front of the toy package to see if the toys have small parts before buying.

5. Teach kids outdoor and indoor play safety. It’s important to teach them to not play ball games near roadways and to always look where they are running if the ball goes outside the play area. Never let them play near roads and areas where automobiles are driving. Do not let them play with flying toys indoors where they can not only knock over fragile decorations but can also hit bystanders.


How Safe is Hand-Me-Down Baby Gear?

Welcoming a new member into your family is a joyous and expensive event. New moms and moms-to-be are given lots of hand-me-down baby gear to help reduce the cost of having a new baby. The March issue of “Shop Smart” magazine, from the publisher of “Consumer Reports”, takes an in-depth look at the safety issues involved in hand-me-down baby gear.  Here are some important points from the article. Know when to say “Thanks” or “No Thanks” to well meaning friends and family.

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Bath Products-

  • Safe: Used baby bathtubs are fine as long as the lining isn’t full of mold or mildew.
  • Not Safe: If the tub has an odor of either of these, say no thanks because they can be hard to remove. Also, skip secondhand bath seats, bath rings, and inflatable tubs since they have been responsible for many deaths among babies.

Car Seats:

  • Safe: A car seat that has all its original parts and labels, has never been in a crash, and fits your car and child is OK.
  • Not Safe: Products more than six years old are outdated, and most likely too run down to be considered safe.

Cribs:

  • Safe: Any crib that was manufactured after the year 2000 should be fine, as long as it is not broken or missing any pieces.
  • Not Safe: Prior to 2000, cribs were held to different safety standards, and will not be acceptable for your baby, even if you slept soundly in them. Any crib with cutouts in the headboard, and corner posts over sixteen inches pose serious risks for a child’s safety.

High Chairs:

  • Safe: Say yes to a hand-me-down high chair if it has a five-point harness to prevent your child from climbing out and a fixed crotch post that prevents him/her from sliding out the bottom.
  • Unsafe: Old fashioned wooden high chairs with removable trays or arms are considered dangerous and uncomfortable for the baby, in addition to not being up to newer product safety standards.

Strollers:

  • Safe: Strollers made after 2007 when new safety standard were published are safe.
  • Unsafe: Any stroller made prior to that date, or has missing, loose, or broken pieces is not.

Toys:

  • Safe: Stuffed animals and most children’s books make fine hand-me-downs. In the case of lead contamination in used toys, there are many home lead inspection kits which can be purchased for under twenty dollars which will tell you whether the toys are safe.
  • Unsafe: Avoid any toys that are chipped, as well as any small parts that can fit through a tube of toilet paper, since they present serious choking hazards for small children.

Used Clothing:

  • Safe: As long as buttons and snaps are on tight and none of the thread is unraveling from the fabric, the used clothing is fine.
  • Unsafe: Pass on any article of clothing with drawstrings because they pose a strangulation hazard.

You can read the entire article at ShopSmartmag.com