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Parents Cautioned As Toy Buying Time Is Here


The traditional holiday gift buying time normally begins the day after Thanksgiving, but retailers have been in full shopping promotion for a couple of weeks.

Director of the state Bureau of Consumer Protection, Michelle Reinen, says while a toy might have a great deal of visual appeal, parents should look beyond the wrapping. She says asks consumers to think about the safety of each potential gift before hitting the register this holiday season...

".....really paying attention to the warning labels listed on the product. Think about the age of the child you're trying to select a gift for, Look at those warning labels and the recommended age grading that should be on the packing or the product itself. Those labels will tell you whether there could be parts that could be potential choking hazards. There is lots of information for example, a child under age 3 will choke on parts of a certain size, the age 8 grading is for the ability to handle small parts and heating elements, so it's a safety against burn hazards. If your child mentally is advanced beyond the norm, the age grading is not an equivalent look at that...."

She says any small pieces, magnets, chemicals or other factors might be a danger to children in the home.

Reinen says the age grading on a toy is not based on the mental development of a child but rather the child's physical development.

Last summer , the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission announced a recall on one of last year’s most popular gifts: “hoverboards” . The agency recalled more than 500,000 hoverboards due to fire hazards caused by overheating batteries. At least 99 incidents of burns or property damage were reported to the agency.

More information is available at U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website: www.CPSC.gov or the state Consumer Protection Bureau atdatcp.wisconsin.gov.

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