Summary of CPSC “For Kids’ Sake – Think Toy Safety” Publication
Child safety is an important concern for anyone responsible for caring for infants, toddlers, and children of any age. CPSC covered the topic well. This summary stresses its highlights with a link to the full publication at the end.
CPSC – set safety regulations for children’s products and toys under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and Consumer Product Safety Act.
Manufacturers – design and manufacture products which meet CPSC regulations.
Consumers – use careful consideration in toy selection and provide proper supervision “at play is still—and always will be—the best way to protect children from toy-related injuries”.
…All Toys Are Not For All Children
Toys are designed and manufactured for recommended age groups. Some toys are recommended for older children and can be hazardous to younger children. Keep toys for younger and older children separated and older toys out of the hands of younger children. Also, “Teach older children to help keep their toys away from younger brothers and sisters”.
Special Note: Not all children develop at the same rate mentally and physically. It is important to understand that toys are designed and manufactured based on CPSC “AGE DETERMINATION GUIDELINES: Relating Children’s Ages To Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior“. Do Not solely rely on the age recommendations on product packaging. Make sure the intended child has the capability to use the product safely.
…When buying toys
When choosing toys, CPSC mention “Keep in mind the child’s age, interests and skill level“.
– look for quality in design and construction
– insure all directions or instructions are clear and understandable
– discard all hazardous packaging material – plastic wrappings can be deadly, such as suffocation
– heed warnings (not recommended for children under 3 – small parts, marbles, balloons)
– look for safety labels – “Flame retardant/Flame resistant” or “Washable”
Update: Easy to Understand Explanation of Safety Regulations for Toys (Part 1) – added October 2016
…When maintaining toys
Inspect all toys for “breakage and potential hazards” on a regular basis, immediately discarding or repairing any damaged or dangerous toys. “Edges on wooden toys that might have become sharp or surfaces covered with splinters should be sanded smooth. Examine all outdoor toys regularly for rust or weak parts that could become hazardous”.
…When storing toys
– teaching children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls. Toy boxes, too, should be checked for safety.
– using a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position to which it is raised, and will not fall unexpectedly on a child. For extra safety, be sure there are ventilation holes for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze. See that toys used outdoors are stored after play—rain or dew can rust or damage a variety of toys and toy parts creating hazards.
– Infant Toys
– Sharp Edges
– Cords and Strings
– Propelled Objects
– Electric Toys
– Small Parts
– Sharp Points
– Loud Noises