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Toy safety tips for holiday shopping

Whether you're toy shopping for your own kids this holiday season or for the children of family or friends, safety should be one of your primary concerns. Many people assume that if a toy is on the shelves or available through a reputable online retailer, it must be safe. However, sometimes hazards aren't discovered until after a toy or other product has been on the market for some time. Unfortunately, these discoveries are often made because a child is injured.

It's important to remember also that while a toy may be safe for kids in grade school, in the hands of a baby or toddler, it could be dangerous. That's why it's essential to pay attention to the age recommendations made by the manufacturers.

The younger the child, the more issues you need to be concerned about. For example, children under 3 years old will put just about everything in their mouths. Therefore, they shouldn't have toys with small parts that could present a choking hazard. Marbles and even uninflated balloons are too often swallowed by young children. Magnets can be particularly dangerous if swallowed.

Even kids in the preschool age range (3 to 5 years old) shouldn't have toys or play sets that contain magnets. Kids in this age range are less likely to try to swallow toys and toy parts. However, they can easily be hurt by toys with sharp points and edges or plastic toys that can break and become jagged.

If you're buying art materials like a paint set or even crayons for a preschooler, look for the code "ASTM D-4236." All art supplies sold in this country must have this code, which shows that the product has been evaluated for toxicity.

Some toys can be dangerous for children (and adults) of any age. These include trampolines, hoverboards, toy guns that can be mistaken for real ones and any product that produces a dangerously loud noise.

If your child suffers an injury caused by a toy or other product that you believe was caused by faulty manufacturing or if you believe that the packaging and instructions didn't include the proper warnings or age recommendations, it may be wise to consult an experienced Kentucky product liability attorney. They can advise you regarding your legal options for seeking justice and compensation.

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