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Mike Bryant
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Toy Safety: U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Issues Toy Safety List

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Following a recent report that 18 children died and and over 170,000 more were treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in 2007. Toys are a concern going into the Christmas season. As a result, a toy safety list was put together by the US. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

In putting the list together, it was found that most of the deaths were associated with airway obstruction from small toys, drowning, or motor vehicle accidents during play. Most of the injuries were lacerations, contusion and abrasions; the head and face was the area most frequently affected.

The top 5 toy hazards:

    • Scooters and other Riding Toys – Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn at all times and be sized to fit.
    • Small Balls and other Toys with Small Parts – For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
    • Balloons – Children under eight yrs. can choke or suffocate on un-inflated or broken balloons. Keep un-inflated balloons from children. Discard broken balloons at once.
    • Magnets – For children under age six, avoid building or play sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
    • Chargers and Adapters – Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.

Once the gifts are open:

    • Immediately discard plastic wrappings on toys before they become dangerous play things.
    • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
    • Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any device to prevent overcharging.

The list should be used no matter if the toys are purchased in stores or over the internet. It especially will become important with any purchase of used toys. Consumers can keep up to date on dangerous products by signing up to have children’s product recall announcements sent directly to their email account. Consumers also can call CPSC’s toll-free hotline at (800) 638-CPSC. or visit www.recalls.gov.

If your child is injured by a toy, they need to get immediate medical care. If there are long term problems, you should contact an attorney concerning the problem. Early investigation can include the collection of the toy, checking for recall alerts, and the proper notifying of those who caused the problem.