The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a strong toy safety system. They require that independent laboratories around the world test toys for lead and other potentially dangerous substances. The CPSC has some of the most stringent standards in the world which allows for safe toys to be distributed to children. However, it is always good to exercise your best judgement when choosing a toy for a child.
- According to the CPSC, emergency rooms in the United States treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010. 72% of these injuries were in people less than 15 years old.
- In 2007, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns which include lead paint and magnets.
- Most toy-related injuries do not require hospitalization (97%).
- About half of all toy-related injuries occur to the head and face area.
- Riding toys are responsible for the majority of toy injuries among children ages 14 and under.
Keep in mind that balloons are a potential choke hazard. Once a balloon is broken or deflated, a child can choke on the balloon. Children most at risk are those are younger than eight years old. Once a balloon breaks, it should be thrown away immediately.
Toys that children can ride may be fun, but are also dangerous. Scooters, skateboards, and bikes can lead to falls which could be deadly. It is important that anyone who is riding one of these wears a helmet and safety gear at all times.
Opening gifts during the holiday season is always an enjoyable experience. Once a gift is open, the wrapping or packaging should be immediately thrown away before it is used as a dangerous toy.
Toys that are supposed to be used by older kids should be kept away from younger siblings. Watch out for toys with small parts as younger kids can choke.
Watch out for batteries. Some batteries are small enough to be swallowed. Rechargeable batteries are very convenient but also pose significant risk. Some charging bases or ports do not have a way to stop overcharging which can lead to potential heat burns to children. Always supervise children when you are recharging your batteries.
AblePlay researches through comprehensive product evaluations and relates the information to children’s abilities and skill development. They have very good reviews for toys and how to use them. Please visit http://www.ableplay.org/ for more information.