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December 2012
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Dear Subscriber,

The holiday shopping season is full upon us! Here are some great tips on buying safe toys for the children in your life. We sincerely wish you and your loved ones a very happy and safe holiday. May it be filled with rich moments and great memories.

Owen, Patterson & Owen
Since 1977, the Owen, Patterson and Owen team has successfully handled a range of personal injury cases ranging from auto accidents, motorcycle accidents and wrongful death. Serving clients nationwide and headquartered in Valencia, Southern California, the personal injury law firm's clients rely on them to look out for their best interests. The firm's dedicated Los Angeles personal injury attorneys played an instrumental role in obtaining a $4.85 billion settlement of the dangerous drug Vioxx and a record-setting $35 million pretrial settlement on behalf of a 12-year-old brain-damaged Palmdale Continue reading.

10 Minutes Now Could Prevent Heartache Later

Unsafe Toys Still on Store Shelves

It’s a given that kids get into jams even with eagle-eyed supervision. What parents and caregivers don’t expect are toys that cause serious injuries. Consider this: Emergency room visits from toy-related injuries nearly doubled from 141,300 incidents in 1997 to 262,300 in 2011. And deaths range from a dozen to two dozen each year (download full report). A record 172 toy recalls in 2008 prompted Congress to pass legislation that toughened standards on the $20 billion toy industry. While consumer advocates applaud progress made since then, dangerous or toxic toys can still be found on America’s store shelves.

So take a few minutes to review these tips and resources, and better protect the little ones in your life.

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) Consider age, interests and skill level.

A bad toy fit can be dangerous. Follow the label’s age and safety information, and be particularly alert to toddlers playing with toys purchased for older siblings.

2) Location, location, location!

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.

3) Dont forget the helmet.

If you buy a bike, scooter or sports-related gift for a kid, helmets are a necessity, not an accessory.

4) Choking is still the leading cause of death related to toys.

Avoid any toy (or toys with parts that might detach during play) that can pass through a common toilet paper tube for kids under age three. And never give small balls or balloons to young children.

5) Steer clear of soft plastic toys.

Metal costume jewelry or toys that contain PVC are top suspects for unsafe levels of lead and phthalate coatings.

6) Be especially wary of small magnets.

A new generation of small, powerful magnets – often used in toys and adult novelties – can easily detach and be swallowed by small children. Swallow more than one and the magnets attach inside the body, causing life-threatening complications.

Visit the toy safety resource page from the U.S. Public Interest Research Group for more detail.

Dangerous Toy Lists and Online Resources

Snake EggsTrouble in Toyland 2012

Snake-egg shaped magnets that can be easily swallowed, smiley Dora backpacks made with dangerous chemical phthalates, toy guitars that can damage young ears … all of these toys and more are highlighted in the 27th 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

When a three-year-old suffered severe facial lacerations from sharp figures protruding from the handlebars of a toy trike, the parents filed a report on SafeProducts.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. Toy recalls dating back to 1974 can also be reviewed here.

2012 10 Worst Toys List

Toys marketed online sometimes ignore age and safety recommendations from the manufacturer. For example, a powerful dart gun and a water balloon launcher are promoted online as appropriate for babies as young as seven months. These and other dangerous toys are featured in the 40th annual installment of the 2012 “Worst Toys” List published by World Against Toys Causing Harm (WATCH).

Take Justice Back Spotlights Attacks on Your Legal Rights

Take Justice Back is dedicated to exposing corporations and special interest groups bent on limiting the legal rights of all Americans. From time to time, we will feature links to those stories from Take Justice Back here.

Visit now

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

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