Holiday Toy Safety and Beyond
The holidays are quickly approaching and during this season many children receive toys as gifts from family and friends. Sometimes there is more thought put into the toys popularity and cost than appropriateness and safety of the toy for the child.
There are many ways consumers can ensure they are purchasing a safe toy. The child’s size and age should guide the appropriateness of the toy. Labels on the box will include age grading for correct physical developmental level of the child. Look for labels that list small parts, suffocation hazards, chemicals, or flame resistance. Visually inspect toys for sharp edges, strings, projectiles, splinters, or chipped paint. Remember that small children have very good hearing and are sensitive to loud noises.
Because of marketing, advertising, and older siblings, the “want” list may not always be age or skill appropriate. Homes mixed with children who have a wide range of ages and developmental stages should be aware of the hazard of small parts, magnets, cords, strings, or batteries that may be in an older child’s toy, yet pose a choking hazard to the smaller child.
Although the cost may be a few dollars more, brand names may be safer than no name brands. No name toys may not always be regulated or inspected for potential hazards such as lead paint. If any problems arise a brand name will also make it easier to track down the name and address of the legitimate company.
To assist with your holiday shopping this year, the Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection released a holiday protection packet. The packet included information on shopping, scams, and toy safety. To view all the information, go to https://datcp.wi.gov/Pages/Homepage.aspxand
The Consumer Product Safety Commission also supplies information on toy recalls, injuries and deaths at https://www.cpsc.gov/
For additional information or to file a complaint, visit the Consumer Protection Bureau at datcp.wisconsin.gov, call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 800-422-7128 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.