December .23 .2013

5 Tips for Toy Safety - a Holiday Reminder

It's everyone's responsibility to ensure kids are safe with their new toys during the holiday season.

Below are five toy safety tips to consider:

  1. Choking is the leading cause of toy-related death. A good rule of thumb: any toy or toy part that can be passed through a toilet roll tube is unsafe for a child under three. Broken and deflated balloons pose a serious choking hazard. Balls for children under six should be more than 1.75 inches in diameter.
  2. Magnets can look like candy, but could have life-threatening complications if swallowed.
  3. Batteries can be fatal if swallowed. Be particularly careful of small, round "button" batteries.
  4. Toxic chemicals can still be found in older toys and those not made in Canada or the US. Lead is often found in the paint and coatings of toys, and phthalates are used to soften plastic toys. Steer clear of toys made with PVC plastic, soft vinyl, and children's costume jewelry.
  5. Loud noise can damage a tot's sensitive ears. Take batteries out of loud toys or cover the speakers with tape to muffle loud sounds. The Canadian Hearing Society reports that no child's toy should make noise exceeding 75 decibels.

Adult supervision is the best way to prevent injury. Follow labels for age recommendations, and be particularly alert to toddlers playing with toys purchased for older siblings.

Toy Recalls

Visit Health Canada for advisories, warnings, and recalls about consumer products, including toys. You can also subscribe to their online newsletter to receive the latest safety news and information in Canadian consumer safety.

A helpful US product recall resource can be found at parents.com. Find recalled products by searching their database by name, brand, or model number, or sign up for recall alerts as they occur.

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Aimee King

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