Did you know that December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month? It is when multiple organizations, including the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), come together to increase awareness about toy safety.
In 2010, the United States saw an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in emergency rooms across the country. Over three-quarters of those injuries happened in children ages 15 and younger.
You can do your part for Safe Toys and Gifts Month by making sure any toys you buy this year are age-appropriate and safe for little ones.
Never Assume Toys Are Safe Just Because They Are Sold in Atlanta Stores
A toy on the shelf at your favorite retailer is not a guarantee of safety. In fact, hundreds of new toys hit the market each year – and a fraction of them turn out to be hazardous. Whether it is a design flaw or poor manufacturing, these toys are not typically reported until someone is injured. That means hundreds, if not thousands, sell before the issue is found.
Instead of relying on a manufacturer or retailer’s reputation, do your homework and inspect the toy you buy before bringing it home.
Toys Must Meet Specific Standards
Toys manufactured in the United States or imported to the country are supposed to follow specific standards created by the USPC. However, not all manufacturers follow these rules, and many toys today are not made in the United States – which means less quality control and inspections.
Some standards set by the USPC include:
- All stuffed toys must be washable.
- Any toy or stuffed animal made from fabric must be flame retardant or resistant and have labels indicating such.
- All art materials must be non-toxic.
- Painted toys cannot be covered in lead-based paints.
- Crayons, paints, and certain art supplies must meet ASTM D-4236 standards.
While these regulations are in place, again, you cannot assume that every toy on the shelves meets these standards. In fact, multiple toys have been recalled in the past for having toxic materials or being covered with lead paint – even though lead-based paint was removed from the United States decades ago.
10 Tips for Buying Safer Toys this December
Whether you are buying a toy for Christmas or you are giving toys to charity, use these tips to ensure the toys you select are safe for the recipient:
- Read all warning labels on the packages. Today, toys are required to have warning labels on the packaging. These warning labels indicate small parts, appropriate ages, and any other safety and health hazards associated with the toy. Read these carefully and ensure the child you give the toy to can understand the dangers.
- Pick a toy that is larger than the child’s mouth. As a rule of thumb for smaller children, always purchase toys that have components larger than the child’s mouth. This reduces the chances the child will put the toy in his or her mouth – let alone choke on a part.
- Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. Toys that shoot objects into the air, especially smaller darts, are a safety hazard. These could cause serious eye injuries – but also pose a choking hazard to small children who may find the pieces that have been shot out.
- Look for well-made toys and stuffed animals. Sometimes just taking the time to look at a product can tell you plenty about the quality. Look for any loose threads, the quality and stability of stitching, the thickness of the plastic, and avoid any products that appear cheaply made.
- Look for the UL label on electric toys. Any toy with battery power or electricity must have the UL-approval label from Underwriter’s Laboratory. If you do not see this tag, do not purchase the product.
- Always opt for nontoxic toys and products. Read the label of any art supplies, toys, and crayons and make sure the label says nontoxic. When buying art supplies for younger children, never purchase supplies that are not nontoxic.
- Avoid buying crib toys. Crib toys might be sold in stores, but they are not recommended by American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) because they pose serious safety hazards for small children – and could increase the risk of SIDS.
Did a Toy Injure Your Child?
Defective toys are out there, and even when you take every precaution to ensure you have purchased a safe toy, injuries can still occur.
If a defective toy injured your child, you could hold the manufacturer accountable for those injuries.
To receive compensation, speak with an injury advocate from Van Sant Law, LLC. Our team is here to help you file your claim, and we will aggressively fight for your right to compensation for defective toys and the damage they can do.
Schedule a free, no-obligation consultation today at 404-575-1901 or request more information online.