Christmas is just two days away and soon children around the country will wake up to lots of brand new toys.
But safety specialists are asking parents to make sure those toys are age appropriate, watching for choking hazards.
A good rule of thumb, if a toy piece can fit through a toilet paper role, it shouldn’t be given to a child under the age of 3.
“If it reads for children 6+ and the child is 4 years old, you want to take that into account,” says Mickie Kreft, Injury Prevention Coordinator at Sparrow Hospital.
According to a 2019 survey from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, despite progress made in the past, dangerous toys continue to reach the market.
In the last year, the CPSC recalled hundreds of thousands of wooden vehicles sold by Target and more recently CBS News purchased 4 products from third party sellers through Amazon and all four failed safety tests.
“If you’ve noticed that a part is missing from a toy or it’s not all there, if a child just all of a sudden gets sick then that’s a good warning sign,” says Kreft.
Kreft says children might experience flu type symptoms when swallowing something they shouldn’t and if not treated, can be fatal.
According to the CPSC, toys to watch for are those with small magnets or batteries, recalled toys sold second-hand, balloons, hatching toys, slime products, and items that may be too loud.
Michigan’s Attorney General released a “Dangerous Toy Guide.” In it, items like the Nerf Ultra One and Pogo Trick Board.
Safety experts say parents should watch for misplaced items, buy from reputable sellers, and enlist older children to help.