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Buying Safe Toys: Pay Attention to Labels, Construction

The holiday shopping season is in full swing and toy stores are filled with parents trying to find the perfect toys for their children. KSMU’s Kristian Kriner looked into which toys may not be safe for your child.

Some toys, like rattles and rubber ducks, are safe for any child to play with after opening them up on Christmas Day.But some toys are toxic or breakable, which could lead to a child getting sick or choking.Daphne Greenlee is the Safe Kids coordinator in Springfield.She says at least 3 billion toys are sold every year, and a lot of them could be hazardous to children if parents don’t check the warning label on the box.“Really if parents can just take the time to select the toys that are made of good construction and they regularly look at those toys and make sure they are in working order. That’s really going to help and supervision when they’re playing,” Greenlee said.Greenlee says parents should avoid toys that have small or breakable pieces when shopping for infants.She says once children reach the age of three, push or pull toys and softer toys become good choices.“In 2002, 13 kids age 14 and under died from toy related injuries and they estimated that about 165,000 kids were treated in hospital emergency rooms with toy related injuries. Sometimes those are choking issues, sometimes those are more the fire and burn hazards we see, especially with the battery operated or plug-in type toys,” Greenlee said.Greenlee says parents need to watch and make sure the toys they have purchased have not been recalled due to lead poisoning hazards, burn hazards or strangulation hazards.“When parents are looking for toys, just try to avoid any that have sharp points or edges. Have any projectile strings or cords that are longer than seven inches. Avoid toys with a heating element, especially the batteries and electrical plugs for the kids that are under eight years old and just make sure you just that you take into account the child’s age, interest and skill level when looking for those toys,” Greenlee said.Greenlee says parents should take the toys out of the packaging before giving it to the child to prevent suffocation from bags or choking from little packing ties.For KSMU News, I’m Kristian Kriner.