Health & Medical Adolescent Health

Toys and Their Safety Standards

When I choose a toy to give to my godchildren or niece or nephews, the first thing I look into is the age recommendation.
I actually only consider two factors when buying toys for kids - age appropriateness and my budget.
Reading about baby injuries caused by what I consider to be pretty harmless toys made me rethink my selection criteria.
It made me aware about the safety aspect of kids' toys.
After a few hours of Internet surfing, I've learned that: 1.
Toys must not have sharp surfaces or points.
Toys for kids under three years of age must not contain small parts or produce small parts when they break, like rattles with small balls in them.
Toys must not have pinching parts or wires that could poke through.
Stuffed toys or dolls should have no ribbons, strings, cords, or necklaces that can be wrapped around a child's neck.
Any toy that can fit through a toilet paper tube is a choking and ingestion hazard.
Projectile toys like darts and slingshots are for older children.
I should also consider if there are younger siblings that can be interested to the toy because that toy can be a potential hazard for the younger ones.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission bans toys for sale in the U.
that do not pass federal safety standards on small parts, low levels of lead in paint, flammability limits, and hazardous chemicals.
In August 2008, new toy safety standards have become a law in the U.
The law requires, among others, lead levels in painted toys to be reduced to 100 parts per million and phthalate content to be below 0.
1 percent.
It also requires mandatory testing and safety certifications as well as tracking information for parents to easily find out if the toy they bought has been recalled.
For some parents, the new law might not be the solution to some problems on child safety but it is a good start.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission has a lot of information for parents like safety tips not only on toys but also on baby cribs and play yards, bicycles, pools, playgrounds and playpens.
A visit at their Web site, http://www.
, is enlightening.
There's an updated list of recalled toys and other products in the site that will prove to be helpful for parents.
Parents can even receive direct e-mail notification of product recalls through the agency's Web site.
This is one free e-mail subscription parents should have.
They can also subscribe to electronically receive new recalls and safety information at http://www.
A blog by independent and nonprofit organization, Consumers Union, is another great site for parents to visit.
The site is regularly updated with safety news and tips from the Consumer Product Safety Commission as well as news relating to child safety from publishers like The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, San Francisco Chronicle, and Time magazine.
There is so much to learn about toys and their safety standards.
Hopefully, we all can be made aware of these standards to prevent tragedies.

Leave a reply