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Toy Safety for Babies & Children

Play is an important part of your child’s development. Toys offer joy and entertainment, and can help your child learn. Most toys are quite safe; however, they can become dangerous if misused or given to children who are too young to play with them. In 2001, at least 25 children ages 7 and under died from toy-related injuries. The same year, an estimated 202,500 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries.

You shouldn't have to worry that your children are in danger while they play. Carefully selecting the toys you give your children, keeping toys in good condition and playing alongside your children can help reduce or eliminate the risk of injury, allowing you to relax and enjoy playtime together.

Toy Industry Association, Inc.

Toy Industry Association, Inc. (TIA™), founded in 1916, is the national New York City-based trade association for U.S. producers and importers of toys, games and children's entertainment products. Its 300+ members account for 85 percent of industry sales; associate members include toy testing laboratories, design firms and professional inventors. Government, the trade, the media and consumers, recognizes TIA as the authoritative voice of the U.S. toy industry.

10 Toy Safety Suggestions from TIA

  • Do not leave toys on stairs.
  • Refrain from providing toys with small parts to children under age 3.
  • Do not leave toys for an older child in the hands of a younger child.
  • Avoid toys with sharp points or rough edges.
  • Do not allow children under age 8 to handle uninflated or broken balloons.
  • Avoid toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
  • Make sure children wear sports equipment protective gear.
  • Discard broken toys.
  • Assure that toys are played with properly (no hitting, throwing, etc.).
  • Always provide toys in conjunction with sensible supervision.

10 Steps to Fun and Safe Play from TIA

  • When shopping for toys, keep in mind the child's age, interests and abilities.
  • Read toy or packaging labels for age ranges and safety warnings.
  • Be especially careful when choosing toys for children under three. Select toys that are free of small pieces (or pieces that separate or can be broken off), are lightweight, have no sharp edges or points and are non-toxic.
  • At home, read instructions for assembly and use. Keep product literature in case of future questions and complete warranty cards.
  • Remove and discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to a baby or small child.
  • Consider the home environment in which a child will play with a toy and younger children who may be there. A toy intended for an older child may be dangerous in the hands of a younger one.
  • Supervise children when they play and set good examples of safe play.
  • Remind caregivers, including grandparents, of play-related safety concerns.
  • Choose a safe storage place for toys.
  • Check toys at least every three months to determine their safety. Make any repairs immediately or throw away damaged toys.

US Consumer Product Safety Commission

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission is charged with protecting the public from unreasonable risks of serious injury or death from more than 15,000 types of consumer products under the agency's jurisdiction. Deaths, injuries and property damage from consumer product incidents cost the nation more than $700 billion annually. The CPSC is committed to protecting consumers and families from products that pose a fire, electrical, chemical, or mechanical hazard or can injure children. The CPSC's work to ensure the safety of consumer products - such as toys, cribs, power tools, cigarette lighters, and household chemicals - contributed significantly to the 30 percent decline in the rate of deaths and injuries associated with consumer products over the past 30 years.

World Against Toys Causing Harm

Since 1973, the annual "10 Worst Toys" list has identified toys with the potential to cause childhood injuries, and even death. W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "Toy Conference" has generated extensive national press and media coverage. Because of its efforts, and the positive response from both the media and the public, there have been many toy and product design changes. Founder Edward M. Swartz and W.A.T.C.H. have fearlessly exposed potentially dangerous toys to the general public. As a result, children’s lives have been saved.