Post Holiday Toy Safety

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An expert joined us to give some important tips on keeping your children safe when playing with their brand new toys.

"Joining me is toy safety mom, Joan Lawrence. Joan what advice do you have for us today?"

"Well parents need to know that all toys sold in the us toys you know no matter where they're made in the world have to comply with our tough U.S. standards. And before they reach store shelves, they have been tested and certified as compliant.

But you can also do some things ensure safe play once you bring a toy home. You want to check the age on the product and make sure that the age of the toy matches the age of your child. It's not about how smart a child is. That is safety guidance based on the developmental abilities of a child of a given age and matching them to the toy itself - the specific features of the toy.

And then once you have a toy in the home it's always important to read through the instructions especially on a complicated toy. Even play with your child, get down on the floor and demonstrate safe play to your children. Small parts are an issue when you have small children, young children under three, those who may still mouth objects. So if toys come with small parts, that will be marked on the package as well.

And if you have older children in the home as well as younger children, you'll want to keep the older children's toys away from the younger child to avoid those small parts. Batteries are another issue it's a hidden hazard in our homes  because so many things come with batteries these days. The remote control, clocks, hearing aids, and yes - sometimes toys.

Now toys by law are required to have a locking mechanism on the battery compartment so a child can't access the battery. But it's important to always re-lock the mechanism once you've replaced the batteries. Keep the used and new batteries away from young children at all times.

And then lastly, storage of toys is so important. So many injuries happen with slips, and trips, and falls in the play space. You can enlist your child and teach your child about good storage. Pick storage that is accessible and easy for a child to use and you can help clean the play space and keep it safer. And those are some great ways to ensure safe play and you can find these or more at playsafe.org."

"Joan that's all very important, thank you so much for joining us."