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Selecting Safe Toys

If your child has reached the age where they are starting to play with their toys instead of the boxes they came in, it may be time to make sure their newly-discovered playthings don’t have any loose parts or sharp edges.

“Younger children really like to explore toys with their mouths and their hands, so anything that might look like food or that is small they might try to taste it or put it in their mouths,” said Lisa Pardi, RN, MSN, injury prevention coordinator for Akron Children’s Hospital. “And that could pose a choking hazard. An easy test at home is to use a toilet paper roll and if the toy is small enough that it fits inside the diameter of that roll, it could pose a choking hazard to toddler-age children.”

Pardi discussed other safety factors, including noise, electricity and toxicity. She noted that many of these hazards are detailed on the product labels.

“If you’re looking at art supplies, you want to make sure that those are labeled non-toxic,” said Pardi. “Those who are looking for electric toys, those are also certified by Underwriters Lab so families can look for their symbol on the box to ensure that they’ve been tested.”

These and other toy safety tips are covered by Pardi in the following “Selecting Safe Toys” video.

Related content: Ohio PIRG “Trouble in Toyland”

The 2012 Trouble in Toyland report is the 27th annual U.S. Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) survey of toy safety. In this report, U.S. PIRG provides safety guidelines for consumers when purchasing toys for small children and provides examples of toys currently on store shelves that may pose potential safety hazards. Visit the PIRG site to download the report.