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Holiday Toy Safety: What Parents Should Know

Web Admin - Wednesday, December 04, 2013

With the holiday season getting into full swing, many parents will soon comb the aisles of toy stores looking for the perfect children’s toys. However, parents should keep in mind that not all toys are safe for all children, and some purchases can result in serious harm to their child. Fortunately, the government and public interest groups make many toy safety resources available, so that parents can get some peace of mind by educating themselves about the dangers of unsafe toys.

Potential Toy Dangers

Children’s toys can present a wide variety of dangers, some obvious, others less so. For instance, sharp edges or points and choking hazards, such as small parts or strings, are common concerns for parents. The government even banned the use of small parts in toys for children under three years old. But, despite this attempt towards prevention, many toys with small parts still make it onto store shelves every year. Doctors recommend that parents take care around any toy with parts that can fit through a toilet paper roll. Additionally, parents should take extra care around small magnets, which often present choking hazards, but may not be regulated as strictly if they come in unusual shapes.

Unfortunately, parents cannot detect all toy dangers so easily. Some toys may contain unacceptably high levels of toxic chemicals that can harm children. Lead is a common hazardous chemical that still finds its way into children’s toys. Though the government attempts to limit the amount of lead in any toy to 100 parts per million (ppm), a report by the Public Interest Research Group (PIRG) found one toy containing 29 times that amount of lead. Other toys could present noise hazards, which the government does not regulate as heavily. These toys, which produce sounds in excess of 85 decibels, can harm children’s ears and lead to hearing loss in some cases.

Safety Resources

Fortunately, many groups publish toy safety guides or lists of harmful toys, like the PIRG report above, that concerned parents can use to learn more about the dangers. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), puts out many of these guides, including some focusing on specific types of hazard or specific age groups. Additionally, the Illinois Attorney General’s office also publishes a safe shopping guide.

Legal Assistance

If your child sustained an injury playing with an unsafe toy, contact an experienced Arlington Heights personal injury attorney today. Our knowledge can you receive compensation for the injury of your child. We serve many northwest suburban areas including Crystal Lake, Palatine, Chicago, Inverness, and other nearby communities.


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