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Keep Play Time – Safe Time
December 2002 Issue

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Keep Play Time — Safe TimeToys, toys, toys. Remember those wonderful days when the biggest decision of your day was what toy to play with next? Your child’s world is most likely filled with a full range of toys and games with holidays and birthdays being the prime toy supply source. But just how safe are the toys coming into your house and into your child’s hands?

Infants and toddlers up to the age of three are notorious for putting everything they come in contact with into their mouths. Read labels on the toys you purchase and only buy age appropriate toys. Avoid toys intended for older children that may contain small parts which pose a potential choking hazard. If older and younger children are playing together, be sure to monitor them closely or remove any potentially dangerous pieces.

Be aware that balloons and balloon pieces pose a significant choking hazard. Children of all ages can accidentally swallow pieces that can, in turn, block their airways and lead to suffocation.

Make sure toys for toddlers are well crafted and that all parts (eyes, noses, etc.) are attached tightly. Periodically check you children’s toys – pull on attached pieces just to make sure they haven’t loosened in the normal course of play. Run your hands over toys to determine if there are any sharp points or edges present. Remove or replace broken toys immediately before small pieces and shards of plastic become a potential problem.

When buying art products such as paints and crayons, look for the designation "ASTM D-4236" which means the product has been tested by a toxicologist. Any necessary warnings or cautions should then appear on the label.

Remember to also keep safety in mind when buying toys and games for other children. Take into consideration the age of the child and any other children in the household. With just a little thought, we can help each other make our children’s play time safe and free of worry.

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