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Last year, an estimated 140,700 children were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms after toy-related incidents.
Child safety begins with parental involvement. It is imperative that
you check your child’s toys for potential safety hazards on a regular
basis and educate older children on how they can help to ensure toy
safety in regards to their younger brothers and/or sisters.
The following is a comprehensive summary of the potential hazards that the wrong toys or damaged toys can cause:
Toy Safety Considerations
By regulation, new toys intended for children under the age of eight,
should be free of sharp glass and metal edges. With use, however, older
toys may break, exposing cutting edges so inspect these toys often to
ensure toy safety.
Older toys may contain smaller parts that are covered by the outer part
of the toy. If the toy breaks, these inner parts can become exposed and
accessible by your child. These parts may be small enough to be
swallowed or to become lodged in a child's windpipe, ears or nose. The
law bans small parts in new toys intended for children under three.
This includes removable small eyes and noses on stuffed toys and dolls,
and small, removable squeakers on squeeze toys. Always examine these
toys to ensure toy safety. Any small item, generally less than 1.75
inches, should not be given to children under three years of age. A
rule of thumb is that toys, balls and parts or pieces of toys are not
suitable if they can fit through a toilet-paper cylinder.
Toy caps and some noisemaking guns and toys can produce loud sounds
that can damage hearing. The law requires the following label on boxes
of caps producing noise above a certain level: "WARNING -- Do not fire
closer than one foot to the ear. Do not use indoors." Caps producing
noise that can injure a child's hearing are banned.
Cords And Strings
Toys with long strings or cords may be dangerous for infants and very
young children. The cords can become wrapped around an infant's neck,
causing strangulation. Never hang toys with long strings, cords, loops,
or ribbons in cribs or playpens where children can become entangled.
Remove crib gyms when your child can pull himself or herself up on
their hands and knees. Some children have even strangled when they fell
across the crib gym when it was stretched across the crib.
Toys that have been broken may have dangerous points or prongs. Stuffed
toys may have wires, inside the toy, that if exposed, could cut or stab
your child. To ensure toy safety, parents should run their hands over
toys to determine if there are shape edges prior to allowing children
to play with them. A CPSC regulation prohibits sharp points in new toys
and other articles intended for use by children under eight years of
Projectiles -- guided missiles and similar flying toys -- can be turned
into weapons and can cause eye injuries. Toy vehicles with propellers –
may cause lacerations, especially to the eye area.
Children should never be permitted to play with adult lawn darts or
other hobby or sporting equipment that have sharp points. Arrows or
darts used by children should have soft cork tips, rubber suction cups
or other protective tips. Always check to ensure that the tips are
secure. Avoid dart guns or other toys that may be capable of firing
articles, such as pencils or nails that were not intended for use in
Toy Safety Age Considerations
Protecting Children from Unsafe Toys