A group that releases an annual report highlighting what is says are unsafe toys is giving parents some recommendations before they buy toys for their kids this year. Alana Stamas (Uh-lay’-nuh Stay’-muss) of the Iowa Public Interest Research Group says the industry has done a good job of labeling most toys — but she says it’s the exceptions you have to worry about. She says there are definately still toys on the market that aren’t properly labeled and she says you should be on the lookout for toys with small parts, or parts that can break off. Stamas says there’s an easy test you can do to see if a toy may be a choking hazard. She says take an empty toilet paper roll with you and make sure none of the parts can fit into the roll. Stamas says toys that’re too loud can cause long-term hearing damage to your child. She says it’s not so easy to find out if a toy is too loud. Stamas says they have a machine to measure the decibels, and if a toy is more than 90 decibles, it is too loud for a child. She says that’s difficult for most parents to figure out at the store. Stamas says there’s a simple way you can determine if a toy is too loud. She says, “My best advice is two things — if a toy seems too loud, it probably is.” Stamas says you can remove the batteries from a toy or tape over the speakers if you think a toy is too loud. She says you can go to www.toysafety.net to get a sampling of toys that are too loud. Stamas says you can also check her group’s website at:www.iowapirg.org to find out more about toy safety.
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