ANCHORAGE - Every year, the Alaska Public Interest Research Group (AKPIRG) releases a report on toys that could be a danger to your child. Tuesday, AKPIRG Director Matt Wallace gave a presentation to local media about what to look for when shopping for toys.
Hazards usually fall into four major categories:
This is the most common hazard for young children. For toddlers, there is an easy standard that helps determine if a toy is too small. Use a toilet paper roll as a gauge. If the toy fits through, it is small enough for child to swallow and possibly choke on.
If a child swallows more than one piece of a magnetic toy, the magnets can bind inside the intestines. Between 2009 and 2011, almost 2,000 children up to age 12 were brought to the emergency room for swallowing those toys.
Any parent can tell you that kids love loud toys, but if the levels are too high, they can damage hearing.
Perhaps the hardest thing to determine is if toys have a higher than healthy amount of dangerous chemicals. They can check the AKPIRG's report to see what toys to avoid.
Wallace said paying attention to age labeling is key. "It's definitely true children that are under 3 and the smallest children are at the most risk when it comes to hazardous toys when it comes to labeling dangers and choking violations."