Keep the Holidays Safe: What to Look for When Purchasing Toys | Harold Zeigler Newsletter Kalamazoo MI
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Date posted: December 11, 2012

Keep the Holidays Safe: What to Look for When Purchasing Toys

With the holidays rapidly approaching, presents and toys are on everyone’s minds. However, not all toys are safe or appropriate for your child.  In fact, there were about 181,500 toy-related injuries involving children in 2010 according to The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

Holiday shopping can be stressful, whether it’s trying to find the latest must-have toy or dealing with crowds at the mall, but it’s important to remember the safety of the products you purchase for children.

For over 100 years, UL has been advancing safety science, developing standards and providing testing and certification services across more than 19,000 product types.  As part of UL, UL-STR is a CPSC-recognized third party testing laboratory that performs applicable toy safety testing in accordance with CPSC requirements.

UL-STR evaluates toys by using a series of use and abuse tests intended to simulate how a child could use and misuse toys, as well as testing for any potential hazards such as small parts, projections, sharp points, sharp edges, potential flammability and toxins such as lead and cadmium.

So before rushing out to buy this season’s must-have toy, keep in mind the following tips from UL, a trusted expert:

  • Look for age grade on the toy, and purchase only toys that are appropriate for the age of the child.  Age grade is based on physical and cognitive abilities of a child as well as important safety factors. A toy intended for an older child may present hazards to a younger child.
  • Read instructions closely. Assembling a toy incorrectly could lead to loose parts that become choking hazards, exposed sharp edges or other hazards.
  • Watch out for toys with magnets, marbles, balloons and button-size batteries when buying for young children or toys that will be around young children.
  • Beware of cheap, little toys. It can be tempting to buy these kinds of toys at flea markets or small discount stores, but they often present the biggest problems.
  • If you use large, heavy pieces of furniture for toy storage, such as bookshelves, be sure they are properly secured to the wall according to manufacturers’ instructions. Children can be tempted to climb furniture to retrieve toys, which can lead to potential furniture tip-overs and serious injuries.

For a list of toy recalls, visit The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission at:


Source: [CPSC]

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