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Holiday Toy Shopping – Think Before You Buy

Shopping for toysBlack Friday and the official kick off of the holiday season is just days away and I have already started my shopping. However, with three kids, I am being a lot more vigilent this year and paying closer attention to the marketing and packaging of the toys my kids want – especially in light of all the recent recalls. Not only am I checking the items my kids have asked for against the CPSC recall list, I am also making a conscious effort to buy toys with fewer plastic parts.

The CPSC is urging parents to do the same. They recently put out a two page release of guidelines and tips for parents. Among the biggest toy hazards cited by CPSC:

  • Riding toys, skateboards and inline skates that could cause dangerous falls for children.
  • Toys with small parts that can cause choking hazards, particularly for children under age 3.
  • Toys with small magnets, particularly for children under age 6, that can cause serious injury or death if the magnets are swallowed.
  • Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling slots for older children that can cause eye injuries.
  • Chargers and adapters that can pose burn hazards to children.

The Toy Industry Association has also sponsored a site called ToyInfo.org where parents can go for the latest information on recalls, toy safety, toy selection tips and more.

The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio also has a great list of the Ten Myths About Toy Safety That Every Parent Should Know including:

  • Toys Made in the USA are guaranteed to be lead-free.
  • The government bans all types of lead in toys.
  • Embedded lead is not really a problem.
  • Buying from a large reputable store guarantees safety.
  • Buying from a big toy company guarantees safety.
  • Buying from a small mom and pop store guarantees safety.
  • Buying from small manufacturers guarantees safety.
  • Lead is only a problem with metal toys.
  • Plush Toys are guaranteed to be Safe.
  • Lead in Toys is a Fixable Problem.

You’ll have to go to their site to find out which are true, which are false and why.

Shop smart this season – it will be better for your kids, your wallet and the environment!

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