Toy Safety: Smart Shopping Can Protect Your Children from Dangerous, Unsafe Products

The holidays bring a new collection of toys into South Florida’s homes each season, and it is vital for parents to ensure that these toys are safe for our children. In the last year, more than 250,000 children went to the emergency room on account of toy-related injuries, and, as always, the best medicine is prevention.

While shopping for children’s toys, there are several steps parents can take to avoid these injuries that include lead poisoning, strangulation and choking. Buying toys that are age-appropriate is the first step to avoiding problems.

Age 3 & Under

  • Children under 3 tend to put everything in their mouths. Avoid buying toys intended for older children that may have small parts that pose a choking danger.
  • Never let children of any age play with uninflated or broken balloons because they could choke on the material.
  • Avoid marbles, balls, and games with balls, that have a diameter of 1.75 inches or less, as they are a choking hazard to young children.
  • Children at this age pull, prod and twist toys. Look for toys that are well-made with tightly secured eyes, noses and other parts.
  • Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

Ages 3 through 5

  • Avoid toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic that might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.
  • Look for household art materials, including crayons and paint sets, marked with the designation “ASTM D-4236.” This means the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist and, if necessary, labeled with cautionary information.
  • Teach older children to keep their toys away from their younger brothers and sisters.

Ages 6 through 12

  • For all children, adults should check toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away.
  • If buying a toy gun, be sure the barrel, or the entire gun, is brightly colored so that it’s not mistaken for a real gun.
  • If you buy a bicycle for any age child, buy a helmet too, and make sure the child wears it.

Additional information on toy safety can be found online through the CPSC website.
The law firm of Balkan & Patterson is experienced in dealing with dangerous products and subsequent injuries. As part of the litigation team of a class action lawsuit against Mattel, the attorneys of Balkan & Patterson recognize the lack of oversight in children’s toys and are ardent advocates for increased safety regulations and standards.

For additional information, please contact us at or call (561) 750-9191.


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