Each year, some 5,000 new toys enter the market
place. The holiday season finds more than 150,000 different kinds of
toys for sale in approximately one million stores every year. Despite
the efforts that manufacturers, retailers, safety inspectors and
others make, it is impossible to examine every toy. However, it is
possible for parents, relatives and other adults to check every new
toy a child receives and every old toy around the house for possible
The following suggestions may help you in
purchasing and giving toys to the infants, children and teenagers on
your holiday gift list this year. Checking toys for hazards:
Choose carefully. Look for good design and
quality construction in all toys you buy.
Watch out for toys that have sharp edges,
small parts, or sharp points.
Beware of loose string, rope, ribbons, or
cord on toys. These items can easily become tangled around a
child's neck and strangle them.
Buy toys that suit the child's age, interest
and abilities. Many toys have a suggested age range to help you
choose toys that are appealing as well as safe.
Injuries may be caused not only when children
fall off riding toys, but also when they ride them where street
traffic is present or near open water.
Help children when using toy chests and other
storage containers. Toy chests can pinch, bruise, or break tiny
fingers and hands if a lid closes suddenly. Open containers
without lids are safest for toy storage.
Be a label reader. Look for safety
information such as "Not recommended for children under 3
years of age," or "non-toxic" on toys likely to end
up in children's mouths, or "washable/hygienic
materials" on stuffed toys and dolls.
Check with parents before buying toys that
require close supervision -- such as electrically operated toys,
shooting toys and games, chemistry sets and the like. Remember,
too, that younger children may have access to toys intended for
older children once the toy has been brought into the home.
Look for the UL (Underwriters Laboratories)
seal on electrical toys. It indicates the electrical parts have
been tested for safety.
There are also seven dangers of toys that
each parent or guardian should be aware of: sharp edges, small
parts, loud noises, sharp points, propelled objects, electric toys
and the wrong toy for the wrong age. It is also important to teach
your child how to play with certain toys.