Dayton Children’s Mommy-to-be-Blogger, Jessica Saunders
Black Friday is right around the corner and, by the looks of the Sunday paper; stores are ready for us to shop until we drop! For so long I’ve simply thrown away the toy catalogues, but this year, although I won’t have a baby in time for the holidays, I have to admit that I’ve take a peek at a few catalogues in anticipation of baby’s first Christmas next year.
I’m definitely excited to start shopping for a child of my own!
I’m also aware that this time can also be a very frustrating. Getting the hot toys like Tickle Me Elmo (OK he was big a while ago – I have no idea what is popular now) can be a difficult but there is also the challenge of choose the right toys for kids that are age appropriate and safe.
Each year, approximately 300,000 toy-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms nationwide. After the millions of high profile toy recalls over the past few years (and they haven’t stopped) I’ve had parents ask me – what is safe to buy for my kids?
While it’s hard to know what toys are going to be recalled there are some tips that might help make this toy-buying season a little easier for you!
- Make sure to buy age-appropriate toys. All toys are clearly marked if they have small parts; do not buy toys with small parts for young children (or allow a child younger than age 3 to play with those kinds of toys belonging to an older sibling).
- Identify dangerous small parts that could break off of a toy. To be sure of a toy’s size, use a small parts tester or a toilet paper roll. Do not let small children play with anything that can fit into one of these cylinders.
- Secondhand or hand-me-down toys should be checked for recalls. Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons.
- Mail in the product registration cards if a new toys comes with one. This way the manufacturer can contact you if the item is ever recalled.
- Sign up for e-mail announcements. The CPSC will notify you immediately of products that have been recalled.
And finally, you should never hesitate to report defects or design features that seem dangerous to you. Most likely, you are not the only one with these concerns and if there are enough concerns the CPSC can take action.