Avoid Dangerous Toys

Cynthia Dermody
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January 2009 ShopSmart

January 2009 ShopSmart

Thanksgiving is only a day a way, but that means that the holiday shopping season is two days away, so I know it's on your mind! Before you brave the stores Friday and beyond, it might be handy to arm yourselves with these toy-buying tips I found in the January 2009 issue of ShopSmart by Consumer Reports:

Know what toys to avoid

  • Steer clear of no-name toys and, regardless of your child's age, don't buy toys with small magnets, even if the magnets seem safely contained within the toy.
  • Don't buy metal jewelry, especially the cheap stuff, for young children or allow them to play with key chains or items with metal charms.
  • If you have an infant or toddler who still puts almost everything in her mouth, don't buy squeezable soft plastic toys or books. Unless it says "no phthalates" on the package, there's no way of  knowing if they contain the chemical or not.

Buy according to a kid's age Age grading is more than a friendly hint. It can alert you to a possible choking hazard, the presence of small parts, and other dangers.

Watch where you shop

  • Be leery of drugstores, airports, and dollar stores. They've been known to carry flimsy plastic toys with dangerous sharp edges or small parts that can break off easily.
  • Thrift stores, consignment shops, yard and garage sales, and eBay often have toys in excellent condition, but check to see that they're well made and have no small magnets or parts.


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