Having trouble viewing this email? Click here to view newsletter online +SUBSCRIBE
December 2013
Associate Photo
Jeremiah Hodges
Dear Subscriber,

The decorations are up, the festivities are in full swing, and the holiday spirit is in the air. Before you finalize your gift shopping, please take a minute to browse these tips on safe toys. We wish you and your family a safe and joyous holiday!

Dangerous Toy Lists and Other Online Resources

Toy Safety Tips for the Holidays

Toys should surprise, delight and educate children, not hurt them. But despite great strides made in recent years by government regulators and consumer advocates to rid the nation of dangerous toys, they are still out there. And kids are still suffering: an average of 250,000 toy-related injuries each year since 2008 were serious enough to require a visit to the emergency room. Bottom line: parents, family and caregivers must remain vigilant.

Here are tips and resources you can use to prevent toy injuries and keep the magic of the holidays alive throughout the year:

King George With a nod to the classic game Operation, this poster hits the basics of safe toy shopping. Click poster to enlarge, or download PDF.

1) Choking is the leading cause of toy-related deaths.

  • Bigger is better – if a toy or part of a toy can pass through a common toilet paper tube, it is unsafe for a child under age 3 or any child who still puts things in his or her mouth.
  • Read and heed warning labels – toys with small parts intended for children between ages 3 and 6 are required by law to include an explicit choking hazard warning.
  • Balloons are prohibited – young children should never play with balloons, broken pieces of balloons or small balls as they can completely block a child’s airway. Balls for children under 6 must be more than 1.75 inches in diameter. 

2) Magnets can look like candy.

Small, powerful magnets can easily fall out of toys and look like shiny candy. Swallow more than one and the magnets attach inside the body, causing life-threatening complications.

3) Batteries can be fatal.

Keep watch or “button” batteries away from children. If swallowed, the battery acid can cause fatal internal injuries.

4) Toxic chemicals can still be found in toys.

Dangerous levels of lead and other toxic chemicals can still be found in older toys and those not made in the United States. Steer clear of toys made of PVC plastic, soft vinyl lunch boxes and bibs, and children’s costume jewelry – especially jewelry and other toys that can be swallowed.

5) If it’s too loud for you, it’s too loud for them.

Children’s ears are very sensitive. Take the batteries out of loud toys or cover the speakers with tape to muffle loud sounds.

6) Parental supervision, awareness still best defense.

Follow label age and safety information, and be particularly alert to toddlers playing with toys purchased for older siblings. Also keep in mind that even the right toy in the wrong place can be trouble. Avoid play near traffic areas, pools or ponds for ride-on toys, and consider blocking off kitchens and bathrooms.

Find more tips in Think Toy Safety by Knowing Toy Dangers (download).

Dangerous Toy Lists and Online Resources

Fake FoodTrouble in Toyland 2013

Toy food that looks good enough to eat but is small enough to choke on, birthday balloons marketed to kids under 8, a play shield made with excessive levels of lead … all of these toys and more are highlighted in the 28th Annual Trouble in Toyland Survey from U.S. PIRG (download) and can be viewed on your smartphone at www.toysafety.mobi.

Consumers Identify Unsafe Toys

After a 4-year-old girl swallowed a small silver marble from a play set, her mother filed a report on SaferProducts.gov. This public database was launched by the Consumer Products Safety Commission in 2011 because it can often take months or even years to recall dangerous toys and other products.

2013 10 Worst Toys List

Realistic toy guns can result in tragic mistakes as pointed out in the 41st Annual “Worst Toys” List published by World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH). Other culprits include a backpack that contains lead, the “most powerful slingshot in the world,” which is marketed to kids 6 months and up, and a two-foot-long hard plastic toy sword.

The 10 Worst Toys of All Time

Beads that turn into the “date-rape drug” when ingested; dolls with mechanical jaws that eat fingers; science kits shipped with deadly uranium: these are all toys selected by Take Justice Back as the worst of the worst.

See list

Exclusive Interview with Dr. Toy

Dr. Stevanne Auerbach, known widely as “Dr. Toy,” is a leading expert on play, toys and children’s products. Parents, teachers and toy buyers all use Dr. Toy’s guidance in selecting great toys.

Listen now

You Should Know is a copyrighted publication of Voice2News, LLC, and is made possible by the attorney shown above. This newsletter is intended for the interest of past and present clients and other friends of this lawyer. It is not intended as a substitute for specific legal advice. If you no longer wish to receive these emails, click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter, and your request will be honored immediately. You may also submit your request in writing to: Steven L. Miller, Editor, 4907 Woodland Ave., Des Moines, IA 50312. Be sure to include your email address.
Click here to unsubscribe from this newsletter.