Safety Tips for Toys

December 26, 2001

Los Angeles: The holiday season is upon us and the men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department would like to wish you a safe and joyous holiday. During this time of year, innumerable amounts of toys are purchased as gifts for children. Therefore, the Los Angeles Police Department would like to remind you of some helpful safety tips developed by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) that you may use to determine if a toy is safe for your children.
When purchasing a toy for a child, consider the following:

Examine toys for hidden dangers prior to purchase.
If a toy looks unsafe, has small parts, balls, balloons, or any other choking hazard, do not buy it.
Be wary in all stores. Just because the store is a toy store, that doesn’t necessarily mean the toys are safe.
Be cautious of toys with small parts.
Keep balloons away from children under 8.
Avoid PVC toys containing phthalates. Phthalates have been linked to illnesses such as liver and kidney problems and may be carcinogenic.
Avoid projectile toys (rocket launchers, slingshots, etc.) and toys with sharp or pointed edges. They may cut or puncture the skin and pose significant dangers to a child’s eyes or ears.
Avoid toys that are smaller than a child’s fist if the toy is for a small child. These toys pose a significant choking hazard, especially if the child tends to put things in their mouth.

According to the CPSC, most manufactures comply with toy safety standards. Although the CPSC does not test all toys, it is recommended that you look for the CPSC hazard warning, which indicates a possible hazardous toy and will appear on the package. The CPSC also recommends using a "no-choke testing tube" at a toy store to test toys with small parts to determine if a choking hazard exists.
For additional information on tips for toy safety, contact the Community Liaison/Crime Prevention Unit, at 213-485-3134, or visit the following Web site, .