Steps you can take before you buy a toy online to ensure it's safe for kids

Posted at 6:34 AM, Dec 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-16 07:34:07-05

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports in 2019 there were 14 toy-related deaths for kids ages 15 and younger and more than 162,000 emergency room treated injuries.

"Those involved riding toys, and ingestion or choking on small balls or small parts," said Patty Davis, a spokesperson with the CPSC.

Doctor Maureen Luetje, who works in emergency medicine at Children's Wisconsin said younger children are especially at risk during the pandemic.

"We do see many foreign body ingestions at Children's Wisconsin, especially in the toddler age range. On average, our emergency department sees over 250 visits per year for swallowing a foreign body. This year has been even higher than usual, with almost 300 visits to date. With the holiday season approaching and many families trying to find new ways to entertain children while staying at home, battery and magnet safety should be reinforced. Always make sure to have close supervision with young children playing with any toys that require battery operation and to keep your batteries stored in a place that is not accessible to younger children," said Doctor Luetje.

The consumer watchdog group, U.S. PIRG released its annual toy safety report and discovered recalled toys like this kid shopping cart and this power-wheel listed on eBay. The group is also warning shoppers of potential dangers with toys listed online.

"Multiple listings on Amazon had improper age guidelines which could pose a choking hazard to children if parents bring that toy home," said Grace Brombach, a consumer watchdog associate with U.S. PIRG.

Brombach said as soon as a toy arrives at your home, you'll want to inspect the toy to see if it's for your child's age.

Here are some steps you can take to make sure what you're buying is safe for kids:

1.) Visit the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website to check if a toy has been recalled and be especially cautious if you are buying a toy secondhand.

2.) Inspect toys you buy online to make sure they are age-appropriate.

3.) Look for a tiny label, "ASTM F963" on the side or bottom of a toy's packaging. That indicates a toy meets the latest toy safety standards.

4.) Magnets and batteries can be especially dangerous if swallowed. Click here to read a blog post by Children's Wisconsin.

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