Alphabetic Guide to Child Care - Toy safety

Toy Safety

Toys come with a recommended age of use. It is important that parents heed the information. Some toys are unsuitable for certain ages, not only because of an inability to use it correctly, but because there may be pieces of the toy that are harmful. These are just a few examples of toys that can be safe at one age and not another; games may have small pieces can be swallowed by little children; electrical toys should only be handled by children old enough to understand the danger. Toys hanging in the crib should not be used by infants old enough to pull themselves up to a standing position because they may strangle on cords and strings of the toy. It should be noted that it is not always the case that only younger children should avoid older children's toys. Toys that are safe for younger children may tip, break, or pinch with the increased size and weight of an older child.

Not all toys come with recommendations or fulfill the safety standards set up by the U.S. government. Cheap imitations may not meet the rigid standards of the more established companies’ toys. Several hundred toys are recalled each year, and more may have not yet been tested. It is important that a parent take responsibility for evaluating the safety of any toy to be given to a youngster.

For detailed and important information on age recommendations for toys ( Which Toy for Which Child ) and for a listing of products recommended for their reliability and safety, please write to U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, 4330 East-West Highway, Bethesda, MD, or call (800) 638-2772. The ABC's of Toys and Play is also a worthwhile publication on how to select toys for children. It is published by Toy Manufacturers of America, Inc., 200 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10010.

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