Consumer Advocacy Groups Offer Tips to Make Holiday Safe

Now that it's almost time for holiday shopping, parents aren't sure which toys are safe to put under the tree.

It seems like we've been hearing about one toy recall after another this past year.

Two major consumer advocacy groups are offering tips to make this holiday season safe.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission says nearly two dozen children die from toy-related injuries every year.

Tens of thousands more end up in emergency rooms, and with a record number of toy recalls issued this year, the agency has advice for holiday shoppers.

Look for age appropriate toys and games.

Stay away from toys with small parts, especially for kids under three.

"Parents should understand that choking or aspirating on small parts or balls are one of the top ways that children are injured or killed from a toys," said Julie Vallese, CPSC spokesperson.

Leaders from the non-profit US Public Interest Research Group, or PIRG, say there's a simple test you can do.

"If a toy fits inside an empty toilet paper roll, it's too small for a child under 3 or even an older child who still puts things into their mouth," stated Ed Mierzwinski, U.S. PIRG Consumer Program director.

For kids under six, avoid toys with small magnets.

"We do know that children may put them in there mouths and you should know when a magnet product is in your home and look for that," said Mierzwinski.

"These magnets are so strong, that they'll hold across my finger. And so you can easily see that the magnets will get trapped inside a child's intestine," explained Mierzwinski.

For children under eight, avoid products with sharp edges or points.

If you're buying a ride-on toy, also buy the child a helmet.

If you're concerned about lead paint hazards, the CPSC says to pay attention to recent recalls.

You can sign up to receive recall alerts at its website, www.cpsc.gov.


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