Toy Safety: What Parents Should Know
While this time of year is exciting for children awaiting gifts from Santa, it’s important to acknowledge the quality and safety standards of trendy toys of the season. Toys, from big to small, ages 2 to 15, all run risks of safety to some extent. To prevent any chance of unpredictable toy mishaps there are some areas parents can focus on when buying gifts this year.
First and foremost, most if not all toys have an age requirement. This is created and clearly labeled on all products to ensure that children are playing with toys that are appropriate for their age. A toy can be perfectly safe for a 5-year-old but unsafe for a 3-year-old child. What is obvious for a 10-year-old not to swallow might not be so clear for a 6-year-old. These discrepancies can cause a major safety issue if not followed closely. Age requirements are specifically designed for all toys and children’s products and should be followed no matter how parents feel about the products for their kids.
Regardless of age requirements, warning labels are always present on any product on the market, especially children’s products. There are a vast number of toxic plastics, chemicals, and paints that can be found in children’s products. Flammability is also a factor that is common in everyday children’s products. Some products have chemicals that are not harmful to children but have a strong flammable quality that can lead to extremely unsafe events.
A great sign that the product meets general safety standards is by seeing “ASTM F963-17” on the warning label. This signifies that the product does meet the federal Standard Consumer Safety Specification.
An effective way to seek out other opinions or information about children’s products is by checking reviews. Seeing what other parents are saying about a product may help you make an educated decision on if the product is best for your family. Reviews will not only tell you how much the product is favored, but how to properly use the product for optimal safety. You can find reviews on the product website, a simple Google search, or product reviews on YouTube.
A foolproof way to inspect your child’s Christmas list is by doing a recall search on it. Rob Levine & Associates offers a monthly recall blog to keep our communities informed on recalled products. There are also various secure sites that will list any recent or past recalled items made for children and babies. An excellent resource that stays up to date is the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. Here you can check recalls on many products and specifically children’s products.
Today’s trendy toys capture our children’s attention but could be missing the mark on safety. Double-check your children’s toys and remember to shop mindfully this Christmas. If you have experienced a personal injury due to an unsafe toy or unclear label, contact Rob Levine & Associates today!