The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has released a toy safety guideline to help consumers make smart choices while they shop for those perfect gifts for children. (A) awareness, and knowing the (B) benefits, for (C) consumers.
Otherwise, "Awareness Benefits Consumers."
Washington, D. C. - A: Awareness of CPSC and all that it does do to protect consumers. As well, they know what toys pose the greatest risks. "The leading causes of toy-related fatalities include choking and aspiration of toy parts."
Because of the recalls this past year, the CPSC has beefed up their inspections of toys, which leads to B: benefits, to consumers. Toys are that are in violation are removed from the store shelves as soon as possible. Companies are doing more testing to their own products and reporting any possible safety problems.
"The Chinese government has signed new agreements to conduct pre-export inspections to prevent lead painted toys and other unsafe toys from being exported to the U.S."
In 2007, CPSC recalled 61 toys that involved in excess of 25 million product units. This underscores "CPSC’s daily commitment to keeping consumers safe 365 days a year,” said Acting CPSC Chairman Nancy Nord. Toys today are undergoing more inspection and more intense scrutiny than ever before.”
Finally, C: Consumers should stay aware of recalls. To receive direct e-mail notification of recalls, you can go to www.cpsc.gov to sign up for them.
CPSC says they have launched a "Drive to 1 Million". Their goal is to get at least 1 million people to sign up for the direct notifications.
CPSC also offers these shopping tips:
> Ride-on Toys – Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be sized to fit.
> Small Parts – For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
> Magnets – For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
> Projectile Toys – Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.
> Chargers and Adapters – Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.
Choose appropriate toys for children:
> Read labels. Look for toy labels that give age and safety recommendations and use that information as a guide.
> Select toys that are age appropriate...to the abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. Look for good construction, such as tightly-secured eyes, noses or any other possible small parts that could come detached.
> Children that are under 8, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
More than anything, exercise just plain old common sense. We've seen so many recalls that most of us know by now what toys to avoid.