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List: Posted: 12/10/10
Most parents are aware of well-publicized toy hazards. You probably avoid any toy that contains toxic chemicals such as lead. You pay attention to age guidelines when choosing toys, and act fast if it turns out your child has a recalled toy.
Unfortunately, there’s much more parents need to know about their children’s toys than what’s publicized in the news. Classic toy dangers appear and cause injuries year after year, yet go unreported in mainstream news. The risk of strangulation, choking on small toy parts and impact related injuries are three classic hazards parents should consider regarding all of their kids’ toys.
Parents should be aware that many toys available on shelves throughout the country right now don’t violate any regulatory or industry standards, yet are clearly dangerous. A toy that has parts that may detach or break off during play presents a choking hazard, even though these “small parts” aren’t intentional parts of the toy’s design.
Parents should always watch out for less obvious toy hazards, including:
* Hair or fur that could be detached and ingested or aspirated.
* Battery operated toys for kids under age 8, as batteries may leak, heat up or even explode near a heat source, or if removed by the child and allowed to make continuous contact with coins or other metal objects (such as in a pocket or purse). This forms an electrical circuit which make the batteries heat up and quickly discharge their power, or short-circuit and explode.
* Toys made of flammable material that could catch fire if exposed to heat or flame.
* Projectile toys such as sling shots or dart guns that may cause serious eye injuries.
* Playpen or crib toys that are designed to string across an area, as they may result in strangulation.
Parents can find out more about what they need to know regarding toy safety through the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the non-profit organization WATCH (World Against Toys Causing Harm).
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