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Recognizing Unsafe Toys Before They Hurt Your Child

By: Anapol Weiss

Not all toy-related dangers are immediately clear, but certain characteristics can indicate hazards to young children. Below are a few factors to consider when shopping for new toys.

Toys that look good to eat: Some toys are meant to look, smell or taste like food, which can invite a child to put the toy in his or her mouth.

Toys with cords or chains: Ropes, chains, strings, elastic bands and other cords – even when they are retractable – pose a risk of strangulation when they are long enough to encircle a child’s neck.

Toys containing lead paint: Check labels on painted toys to see if they contain lead. Discard older painted toys that were manufactured before current lead standards were put in effect.

Flammable toys: The U.S. government flammability standards take into account children’s clothes but not toys. Further, be particularly careful with regard to sleeping bags and comforters for camping.

Baby furniture and car seats: When borrowing or buying baby furniture such as cribs, high chairs, walkers, playpens, cradle swings and more, check for recalls and safety issues first.

Individuals who have questions about toy recalls or other safety issues can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). It’s important to know the product’s manufacturer, model and year of manufacture so CPSC staff can identify the exact toy in question.

On some occasions, a toy’s design or manufacturing defect can result in the death or injury of a child. Contact our firm if your child sustained toy-related injuries. We can evaluate your situation and determine if the manufacturer, designer or installer is to blame.