Many Iowa kids are busy this time of year making out their Christmas wish lists, but parents need to pay close attention to some gift requests. Kay Farrell, president and CEO of the National Safety Council’s chapter in Omaha/Council Bluffs, says Iowa parents need to make sure they read every label on the toy box before they buy it.
“The labels will tell you a lot of things. They will tell you, first of all, what age it is appropriate for or if it contains a choking hazard because that is a very serious thing of course for children under three. Any that are still in that age group that are putting things in their mouth, you have to be very careful with that,” Farrell explains.
Farrell says those age restrictions on the box are meant to be followed. She says: “Look at the quality of the toys and make sure that they are sturdy. If they have eyes, noses, mouths, make sure they are tightly secured. If a child is under eight, you will really want to watch out for sharp points or sharp edges and be sure that things are non-toxic because children under that age are more apt to be harmed by those kinds of things.”
Farrell says with the recent scares of lead paint on toys, she says people are really starting to reconsider what to buy and what to leave on the shelf. “We’re really back to the natural woods, we’re back to natural things, things made in the U.S.A. especially,” she says, “I think this really highlights how important it is to purchase our own manufactured items. We should be safe with those. We follow the rules in this country and that’s very important.” Farrell says it is very important to pay attention to recalls.
She says the best bet is to check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission website . Just last week alone, she says there were eight toy recalls within two days.