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Make Safe Toys Your Holiday Priority
Date:12/20/2007

Materials.

And parents should take care to keep older children's toys away from their younger siblings, as their toys can contain small parts or balls that can choke a younger child.

"If you have a child who still mouths things, keep the older child's small parts away," Mierzwinski said. "You've really got to check your toy chests. Make sure toys belonging to older children are not available to smaller children."

If giving a riding toy like a scooter or bicycle, parents should make sure they also buy protective gear like helmets and pads, and make sure their kids use them.

Finally, parents should avoid buying one of the most common -- yet one of the most dangerous -- items on the toy market: latex balloons. Balloons and pieces of broken balloons can block a child's airway and should never be given to children younger than 8.

"Balloons are a terrible choking hazard," Mierzwinski said.

More information

For more on safe toy shopping tips, visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.



SOURCES: Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director. U.S. PIRG, Washington, D.C.; Christine Bradley, safety program manager, Prevent Blindness America, Chicago; U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, Bethesda, Md.; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta


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