Annual Toy Report Reminds Parents Of Dangers

As the Holiday season gets closer, many parents are looking for the perfect toys to buy for their kids. According to one toy report, however, there are still many dangerous toys on the market that parents should be wary of.

The 25th annual “Trouble in Toyland” report provided by the Public Interest Research Group has found many dangers among popular toys that parents should worry about. Parents with young infants and toddlers should especially be on the look out for potentially dangerous toys. Toys with sharp edges, small pieces, and loose strings can all create hazards for a small child during play.

Parents should also look for toys that may contain lead. Lower priced children’s jewelry, metal lunch boxes and some paints have been known to contain lead or cadmuim. Currently, toys are not allowed to have lead in excess of 300 ppm. By August of 2011, that will change to lead in excess of 100 ppm. More than just changes in toy manufacturing, however, toy labeling is also important to help parents choose safe toys for their children.

“Overall, manufacturers and toy retailers are doing a good job of marketing and labeling small balls, balloons, small toys and toys with small parts. Choking on small parts, small balls and balloons remains a leading cause of death and injuries. Between 1990 and 2009, at least 198 children died after choking or asphyxiating on a toy or toy part; two children died in 2009 alone,” the report says.

The Public Interest Research Group offers these guidelines for buying toys for toddlers and infants this holiday season:

  • Uninflated balloons can pose a choking hazard for any child younger than 8 years old.
  • Toys with marbles or small balls are not intended for children younger than 3 years old.
  • Toys with pull cords and strings can be strangulation hazards for young children.
  • Avoid toys with small parts that can become choking hazards.
  • Clothing with drawstrings and ties can also be strangulation hazards on young children.

Additionally, parents should only buy age appropriate toys for their children.  Even though every child matures at a different rate, age recommendations are based on many factors including expected motors skill and developmental level.  Children under the age of 3 are at the highest risk for choking and toys that are made for kids outside that age bracket have much smaller pieces that can cause issues.

Because of efforts by the Consumer Safety Products Commission, the number of deaths related to dangerous toys has decreased among young children. However, there are still many toys that are not made with infants and toddlers in mind. These can contain parts and pieces that will pose a danger to younger children.

Parents should be thoughtful about the toys they purchase and be sure to check the labels on the toys for safety. – Summer, staff writer

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About the author


Summer is a mom of three, living life in the slow lane along historic Route 66. She writes, homeschools, gardens, and is still trying to learn how to knit.

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