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With so many toys recalled today, it’s hard to know what is safe to buy and what is not. A large majority of our children’s toys are made in other countries and are not tested the same as they are in the United States. Poorly designed and cheaply made toys, however, can present serious hazards. When evaluating a toy for your child, use your common sense. Does the toy seem solid and well constructed? Are there small pieces that can break off and present choking or cutting hazards? Does the price seem too good to be true? If so, you can bet it’s made of cheap materials and not well constructed. Do your homework. Be leery of cheap dollar store toys, as they are known for carrying recalled items at cheap prices. Buy age-appropriate toys. Remember the younger siblings at home. What may be appropriate for the bigger sibling may not be appropriate for the little siblings at home, especially if it contains small parts.

Another good way to stay informed is to fill out those registration cards. It may seem like a waste of time at the time but in the long run it’s worth it. The toy manufacturer may contact you directly if their product has been recalled.

Lastly, don’t ignore instructions, labels or warnings. They are put there for a reason. Take the time to explain to your child how a toy is supposed to work and how it could be dangerous.

For more information on consumer safety go to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website at

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