All About Mansfield

Tips For Safe Toy Purchases

26 Nov , 2016  

While Black Friday 2016 in north central Ohio may be behind us, the holiday shopping season has just begun.

Christmas is a time especially for children and for children this means toys. Each year more than 3 billion toys and games are sold in the United States with 65 percent of these sales occurring between Thanksgiving and the day before Christmas. Although toys are fun and educational they can be dangerous. Poorly designed and constructed toys, or toys that are inappropriate for your child’s level of development can cause serious injury, and in some cases, death. Richland Public Health and Safe Kids USA have offered the following tips and suggestions:

If there is an age warning, stick to the recommendation. Do not buy “older” toys for young children.

    • Remember that young children may be especially vulnerable to choking on small parts and toys containing these should be avoided when buying for this group.
    • There are various things you can check on the toy, including:
      • sharp edges or hidden spikes
      • loose facial features, wheels, tires and other small parts; these should be securely fixed to the toy
      • secure seams: if the stuffing accessible, a child could choke on it
      • any cord on a pull along toy should be at least 1.5 mm thick
      • any holes or gaps into which children could put their fingers and suffer harm from the mechanical parts inside
      • brittle plastic which could shatter into small sharp pieces
      • folding mechanisms: how much damage would they do if a child’s finger were caught in them?

Richland Public Health cautions toy buyers to be aware of items with painted surfaces that may contain lead paint. The Health Department and Safe Kids USA suggests consumers sign up to receive products recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (www.cpsc.gov).

For questions or concerns about lead paint in toys, call the Environmental Health Division at the Health Department, 419-774-4520.

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