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Collectible Toys News and Blog

Toy Safety Tips When Shopping


When it comes to toy shopping, parents don’t easily run out of ideas on what to buy. There is simply a lot of toys to choose from when scouring the children’s toy aisle. Whether you want to purchase a stuffed animal, action figure, or puzzles for your little one, the options are almost endless.

However, when shopping for your children’s toys, almost keep safety in mind. You might not know it yet, but according to the U.S. Consumer Product Commission, more than 120, 000 children are sent to emergency rooms each year for toy-related injuries. Some even result in deaths! A majority of these incidents happens to children ages 12 years old and below.

While getting toys for your child, it’s best to keep the child’s age in mind, especially when you’re buying for children under the age of 3.

Safety Checklist for Parents to Avoid Toy-Related Injuries

  • Inspect the product and ensure it has high quality construction
  • Read safety guidelines and make sure your child follow them when playing with their new toys
  • Regularly check toys and look for broken parts, chipped paint, or sharp edges that could potentially harm your child
  • When buying art supplies, such as crayons and markers, make sure they are labelled non-toxic.
  • Purchase helmets and other appropriate safety gears for ride-on toys, such as scooters, bikes, and skateboards.

Choking Hazard Precautions

  • Do not buy marbles and balls with a diameter of less than 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters)
  • Avoid toys with cords or strings longer than 7 inches
  • Do not let children inflate or deflate balloons on their own

Avoid Shopping these Items

Toys with Button Batteries

More than 3000 button batteries are ingested each year in the US alone. These coin-sized batteries are very appealing to infants and toddlers, resulting in major injuries and even death when ingested. They become lodged in a child’s esophagus and can cause great problems within a few hours after they are swallowed. These small shiny things are commonly found in small electronics such as, remote controls, watches, key chains, cameras, calculators, and games and toys.

Most battery-powered products have easily accessible battery compartments, in which the batteries can easily fall out when the product is dropped. Make sure that you tape shut the battery compartments of your electronic items and avoid purchasing toys with button batteries. If you have loose batteries, make sure that they are out of children’s reach.

Toys with Magnets

Just like button batteries, children are easily fascinated by magnets. They are shiny, smooth, small, and sometimes colourful. Most children encounter these powerful items when they are bought toy building sets, where the magnet pieces are covered in plastic in various shapes and sizes. However, most magnet-related incidents involving children are usually those magnets that come from adult toys.

If two or more magnets are ingested, they can attract and meet each other within the child’s body, which causes the digestive tissue trapped between them. Obviously, these injuries can pose a threat to the child’s life. The only way to save the child from death is to remove the batteries through surgery to prevent permanent damage to the digestive tract.

For these reasons, magnets have been pulled from the market. To avoid poisoning, it pays that you store magnets in a box or cabinets out of children’s reach. If you wish to get rid of them, make sure to do it with proper care. When choosing refrigerator magnets, buys the ones that are large enough that they cannot be swallowed or pose a choking hazard.

Projectile Toys

Projectile toys such as BB guns, pellet guns, air rockets, darts, and slingshots are harmful even to adults. That is why they are not recommended for any age. The toys mentioned usually pose a high risk for eye injuries as they can shoot up to distances of 75 feet and the launched items move at speeds fast enough to cause serious injury, especially when used at close range. Even water guns that shoot a stream of water can cause eye damage.

BB Guns

As previously mentioned, BB guns should be a huge no-no when it comes to toy shopping. They can cause injuries and death, even though they are not the real deal. There are even states in the US that passed bills banning BB guns. Some don’t even consider BB guns as toys. In fact, BB guns injure as many as 21, 000 Americans each year, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Although this toy only uses compressed air (not gun powder) to launch projectiles, they are almost as powerful as regular firearms. Nonpowder guns have a projectile velocity of between 350-450 feet per second, whereas regular firearms have a velocity of 750-1, 450 feet per second. Hence, such guns can cause deadly wounds.

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