Toy-Safety Tips For Holiday Shoppers
The North Dakota Department of Health and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) encourage consumers to keep safety in mind when choosing toys for young children this holiday season.
Each year, the CPSC receives reports of about 15 to 20 toy-related deaths involving American children younger than 15. In addition, about 160,000 children younger than 15 are treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries.
"It's very important to buy age-appropriate toys for children," said Dawn Mayer, Child Passenger Safety Program director for the North Dakota Department of Health. "The best way to know if a toy is appropriate for a child is to read the labels. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires toy manufacturers to meet stringent safety standards and to label certain toys that could be a hazard for younger children."
According to Mayer, consumers should look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide. For example, some toys have labels that state "not recommended for children under three ... contains small parts" because they may pose a choking hazard to young children. In addition, toys should be developmentally appropriate to suit the skills, abilities and interests of the child.
The state health department and CPSC offer the following tips to help consumers choose appropriate toys this holiday season: