You can walk into any toy department and see there are hundreds of thousands of toys on the market, it’s not easy to be sure you’re getting safe products.

Today’s toys are safer than they have ever been, but you still must be careful. They come out with warnings every year on products that have already been sold. It usually takes an injury or accident for the manufacturer to realize there is a problem. Buy the right toys for your child’s age and skill level, and check often to make sure your child’s toys have not been recalled.

SELECTION

♦ Before shopping for toys, consider the child’s age, interests and abilities.

♦ Always read labels and look for age rangers and safety warnings for the toy.

♦ Read assembly instructions and keep them in case you have questions. Complete warranty cards.

♦ Children under age 3 put things in the their mouths and can choke. Look around your home for anything small enough to fit through a “small parts tester” or toilet paper tube. Items include coins, marbles, small toy parts, small balls, grapes, etc. Keep these out of reach.

SUPERVISION

♦ Remove and throw away the packaging from the toy before giving to a baby or small child.

♦ Always supervise children while they play to avoid injury.

♦ Keep toys for older children away from younger children. Toys for older children are inappropriate for younger children.

♦ Join in your child’s play. This adds to their fun and development.

STORAGE AND MAINTENANCE

♦ Teach children to put toys away after playing.

♦ Check old and new toys regularly for damage such as sharp edges or loose small parts.

♦ Store toys for older and younger children separately. Safe storage prevents falls and other injuries.

♦ Sign up to receive product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission at www.cpsc.gov.

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