On 8/14/08, passed a recent law that modernizes the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The bi-partisan Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008 makes merchandise less hazardous by expecting that toys go through testing in advance of the time the merchandise are sold, and by banning toxic chemicals like lead in the merchandise. The Law also put into place a publicly accessible database of customer complaints. The law did make toys less hazardous, but parents should still be conscientious. Below you will find a few easy pointers.
Under 3 Years Of Age
Children under the age of three tend to put everything in their mouths. Avoid buying toys meant for older kids which may have small components that present a choking danger.
Do not let kids of any age mess around with with uninflated balloons because of the choking danger.
Avoid games with balls that have a diameter of 1.75 inches or less. These items also present a choking hazard to little kids. Children at this age prod toys. Search for toys that are of high quality with tightly fastened eyes, noses and other pieces. Avoid toys that have lacerated edges.
Between Three and Five Years Of Age
Avoid toys that are fabricated with thin, frail plastic that may easily collapse into minor pieces or leave serrated edges.
Search for household art products, including crayons and paint sets, labeled with the designation "ASTM D-4236." The designation signifies the item has been reexamined by a toxicologist and, if necessary, labeled with protective information. Instruct older children to keep their toys out of reach of their younger brothers and sisters.
Between 6 and 12 Years Of Age
For all kids, parents should check toys periodically for breakage and possible hazards. Broken-down toys should be fixed or disposed of.
If buying a toy gun, be certain the barrel, or the full gun, is brightly colored so that it isn't ever mistaken as a real gun.
If you buy a bicycle for any age child, buy a helmet also, and make sure the child wears it.
Instruct all kids to put toys away when they're finished playing so they don't stumble over them.
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