Kids' Toy Safety Tips
Kids toys are an important part of a toddler's life. They teach a little boy or girl about colors, sounds, letters, motion, and friction. They can also inspire a child's creativity. Yet, it's also important that toys be safe so that children do not get hurt while playing.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that more than 191,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in the year 2000 alone. The figure includes some 70,000 toy-related injuries to pre-schoolers. As a result, fire and safety experts have put together some tips for keeping children safe at play.
Check the Label
As a parent, you need to check for markings indicating that toys-especially any sort of ride on toys, like the popular Dora The Explorer ride on toy- have been safety-tested by an independent, third party product safety organization, such as UL. A UL mark on a toy means that the product has been thoroughly tested by UL engineering staff and found to meet all relevant safety requirements.
Look for the Age Designation
Chances are the toy you are considering purchasing has a marking such as "age 3 and up" or "age 2 and up." If your child is only a year-and-a-half, it's best to stay away from such toys for safety's sake. The toy could contain small parts that might pose a choking hazard for your child.
Look for Warnings
The toy you're considering may contain a manufacturer's warning. You need to take the warning seriously. It has been placed there for your benefit-and to protect your child from harm. Also, be sure to read any instruction booklet that comes with the toy.
Be Sure to Clean Up
You should immediately throw out any plastic packaging and gift-wrapping after a toy has been opened. This is because such materials can represent a suffocation hazard. Also, be sure to inspect the toy for possible cracks, breaks, or ripped seams which could pose a danger to your child. Keep in mind that sharp edges can lead to painful cuts for children. If a toy must be assembled, be sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions exactly.