Tips for Choosing Safe Toys

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has issued approximately 20 toy recalls in 2016 alone. These recalls occurred because of safety defects that could cause injury. Unfortunately, toy-related injuries happen relatively frequently. In 2014 alone, about 251,800 children visited a U.S. emergency department due to a toy-related injury. To avoid accidents and injuries, make sure you know read these tips for choosing safe toys before you do your holiday shopping.

1) Only Buy Age Appropriate Toys

The CPSC requires toy manufacturers to follow age-appropriate guidelines for toy designs, and to label each toy with the proper age range. Checking the labels and buying only toys in the appropriate age range can help you ensure your child only receives safe toys under the tree. Parents should still, of course, take their child’s individual personality, temperament, and maturity into consideration when shopping for toys.

If you are buying the toy for a child who is not your own, discuss the toy with the child’s parents before buying.

2) Consider The Size

Toys with small parts are one of the biggest dangers to babies and toddlers. KidsHealth.org recommends toys for children under age three be at least 1.25 inches in diameter and 2.25 inches in length to avoid swallowing. Balls, discs and other round toys are particularly dangerous. These either need to be too large to fit in the mouth, or a maximum of 1.75 inches in diameter or smaller to prevent them from lodging in the child’s windpipe.

Also, do not overlook the ability of your child to remove and swallow small parts such as eyes and buttons from otherwise safe toys.

3) Pay Attention to Cords

Toys should have cords of only 12 inches or shorter. Young children often become tangled in longer cords, and a cord wrapped around the neck can have dire consequences.

Dangerous toys include items such as pull-string dolls, toy phones, crib gyms, and crib mobiles.

Older children who play with rope, string or other cords should have supervision during use. Make sure older children keep their toys out of the reach of younger children.

4) Do Not Forget the Proper Safety Equipment

Many children receive bikes, skates, skateboards, scooters, and other outdoor toys for Christmas, and they — of course — want to try them out right away.

For this reason, it is paramount that you also provide your child all of the proper safety equipment to use this type of toy. Consider hand, wrist, and knee pads, and always require your child to wear the proper helmet during use.

Remember that some toys might require safety equipment you did not consider, e.g., paintball, airsoft, BB, or foam dart guns might require eye protection.

5) Check Your Shopping List Against Dangerous Toy Lists

Several watchdog groups, such as World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), publish annual lists of the season’s most dangerous toys. By comparing your shopping list against these lists, you can ensure you avoid some of the most in-demand dangerous toys.

6) Report Any Potential Issues

If you find any safety issues with any toy you purchase, do not allow your child to continue playing with the toy. Check the CPSC website to see if there is a recall notice for the toy, and report the danger if not. You can reach the CPSC by calling 800-638-CPSC. CPSC will be able to tell you your next steps.

7) Always Look for Recalls

Kids always want the newest toys, but newer toys can pose serious dangers. Who can forget last year’s massive recall of hoverboards? If you are buying a toy that just hit the market, ensure you keep an eye out for any recalls the product might have. Until you know the product is safe, supervise your children when using the toy.

Call Cordisco & Saile, LLC after an Injury

If your child suffers toy-related injuries in Pennsylvania or New Jersey due to a defective toy, you may be able to collect compensation to cover medical bills and more. Cordisco & Saile, LLC can help you navigate the claims process, and file a defective products lawsuit if necessary.

Call our Bucks County office today at 215-642-2335 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.