There are millions of different toys out there, with hundreds of new ones on the shelves each year. With the holidays just around the corner, now it a good time for parents to be reminded of toy safety.
While toys are supposed to be fun and are an important part of any child’s development, scores of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries each year. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 3 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouths.
Manufacturers follow certain guidelines and are closely monitored and regulated. They are required to label toys for specific age groups, but perhaps the most important thing a parent can do is to supervise play.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Stuffed toys should be washable.
- Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
- Art materials should say nontoxic.
Steer clear of older toys, even hand-me-downs from friends and family. Those toys might have sentimental value and are certainly cost-effective, but they may not meet current safety standards and may be so worn from play that they can break and become hazardous.
And make sure a toy isn’t too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys, and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn — even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears — and can contribute to hearing damage. Read more here.
If your child has suffered a critical personal injury from a defective toy, contact a Toronto personal injury lawyer with Mazin & Associates, PC for a free consultation.