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Use empty paper roll to check for toy safety

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In 2007, approximately 45 million children's toys were recalled as hazardous. Toys are supposed to be fun, and are important in any child's development. But there's no guarantee that a toy you buy in the store is going to be safe for your child.

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The following are helpful tips when purchasing a toy this year:

The noise of some rattles, squeak toys and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn or even louder if a child holds it directly to the ear, which can cause hearing damage. Other information to look for when buying a toy is that toys made with fabric should be labeled flame resistant or flame retardant. Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint and art materials should say nontoxic.

An available household object to determine which toys are safe is a toilet paper roll, which is approximately the size of a child's windpipe. Toys should be large enough (at least 3 centimeters in diameter and 6 centimeters in length) so they can't be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe.

Carly Heinen and Jenna Marklowitz, ATCC Child Development Program

Alexandria

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