Toy safety: Picking the right toys for the right ages

Toy safety: Picking the right toys for the right ages

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SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) -- Before you wrap the kids' toys this holiday season, read over the following safety tips from Roberta L. Davis, Kohl's injury prevention expert.

General Guidelines for Toys
- Fabric toys should be labeled flame resistant/retardant and should be washable.
- Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
- Art materials should say nontoxic.
- Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 (evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials).
- Steer clear of older toys including hand-me-downs as they may not meet current safety standards.
- Make sure a toy isn't too loud for your child.

The Right Toys at the Right Ages
- Make sure a toy is appropriate for a child's age. Read the label.
- The age levels for toys are determined by safety factors, not intelligence or maturity.

Age-specific guidelines:
Infants, Toddlers, and Preschoolers

- Toys should be large enough so that they can't be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe.
- Battery-operated toys should have secured battery cases that cannot be pried open by the child
- Toys should be unbreakable and strong enough to withstand chewing.
- Toys should not include sharp ends or small parts like eyes, wheels, or buttons that can be pulled loose, or strings longer than 7 inches.

Grade-Schoolers
- Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, and inline skates should never be used without helmets or other safety gear
- Nets should be well constructed and firmly attached to the rim so that they don't become strangulation hazards.
- Toy darts or arrows should have soft tips or suction cups at the end, not hard points.
- Electric toys should be labeled UL, meaning they meet safety standards set by Underwriters Laboratories

Keeping Toys Safe at Home

- Teach kids to put toys away.
- Check toys regularly to make sure that they aren't broken or unusable.
- Throw away broken toys or repair them right away.
- Store outdoor toys when they're not in use so that they are not exposed to rain or snow.
- Keep toys clean. Some plastic toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but read the manufacturer's directions first or use antibacterial soap and rinse.

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