December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month: What You Need to Know
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The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has established a sophisticated system for determining toy safety, which involves imposing strict requirements regarding the manufacturing, testing, and distribution of toys. While these guidelines can give families a modicum of confidence that the gifts they’re buying for their little ones this holiday season should be safe, consumers still need to perform due diligence. Here are some facts about toy safety that are unfortunately not yet common knowledge. Commit these to memory (or print them out), so that you shop safely for your children, nieces, nephews, grandkids and beyond:
Balloons pose surprising safety hazards, since they can pop or deflate and cause young children to choke or suffocate. Keep them away from kids younger than eight.
Before you purchase a toy or gift, check to determine whether it contains small parts or whether it has been deemed suitable for children under three. The product’s packaging should disclose this information.
If you are giving a child a bike or other riding vehicle, include a helmet and other appropriate safety gear as part of the gift – and require them to wear it.
After opening gifts on Christmas morning, get rid of packaging, ribbons and wrapping paper that can pose choking hazards for young children.
If your older children received gifts that aren’t appropriate for young ones (such as Legos, which small children can swallow and choke on) instruct the older kids on how to keep their new toys out of reach of their younger siblings.
Be sure to supervise all assembly of new toys to ensure they go together correctly and to avoid accidents (and tantrums!).
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