Feds Fighting to Keep Hazardous Toys Off Shelves for Holiday Season

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While federal officials said they were doing everything they could to protect America's children, they admitted that some of the unsafe products end up on store shelves.

Tenenbaum urged parents and other family members to be vigilant when making toy purchases. In particular, officials said that if a toy looks significantly underpriced, beware.

The CPSC offered these safety tips for protecting children from hazardous toys:

      Balloons -- Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children under the age of 8. Discard broken balloons immediately.
      Small balls and other toys with small parts -- For children under the age of 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
      Scooters and other riding toys -- Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
      Magnets -- High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under the age of 14. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.

Once gifts are open:

      Immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before they become dangerous play things.
      Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
      Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.

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