July 26, 2014

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Toy Safety Shopping Tips

2013 Finalists for the Toys Hall of Fame

Are you buying age appropriate toys for your child? Below are tips from The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission to help you choose the right toys this holiday season!

Under 3-Years-Old

Children under 3 tend to put everything in their mouths. Avoid buying toys intended for older children which may have small parts that pose a choking danger.

Never let children of any age play with uninflated or broken balloons because of the choking danger.

Avoid marbles, balls, and games with balls, that have a diameter of 1.75 inches or less. These products also pose a choking hazard to young children.

Children at this age pull, prod and twist toys. Look for toys that are well-made with tightly secured eyes, noses and other parts.

Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

Ages 3 through 5

Avoid toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic that might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.

Look for household art materials, including crayons and paint sets, marked with the designation "ASTM D-4236." This means the product has been reviewed by a toxicologist and, if necessary, labeled with cautionary information.

Teach older children to keep their toys away from their younger brothers and sisters.

Ages 6 through 12

For all children, adults should check toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. Damaged or dangerous toys should be repaired or thrown away.

If buying a toy gun, be sure the barrel, or the entire gun, is brightly colored so that it's not mistaken for a real gun.

If you buy a bicycle for any age child, buy a helmet too, and make sure the child wears it.

Teach all children to put toys away when they're finished playing so they don't trip over them or fall on them.

Did you Know ...
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires toy manufacturers to meet stringent safety standards and to label certain toys that could be a hazard for younger children. Look for labels that give age recommendations and use that information as a guide.

Labels on toys that state "not recommended for children under three ... contains small parts," are labeled that way because they may pose a choking hazard to children under three. Toys should be developmentally appropriate to suit the skills, abilities and interests of the child.

For more information and to learn more, visit the Related Links below.


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Holiday Film Favorites

We've made a list of Christmas movies (and checked it twice) that are sure to help you get in the swing of the season. From traditional classics to some you may not have forgotten, we've got you covered!

Babes in Toyland
A Christmas Story
A Charlie Brown Christmas
Frosty the Snowman
Christmas with the Kranks
Elf
Home Alone
The Holiday
The Family Man

Looking for more? CLICK HERE for more holiday film favorites!

Good ole' Fashion Family Fun

The holiday season is a time for peace, love, joy and of course, family time! So why not celebrate the Christmas cheer with some good ole' fashion family fun!?

Here are a few traditions you can start this year with your family:

- Set up a Christmas Tree (fake or real, small or large, just make it fun for the whole family!)
- Decorate! Even just a few strands of Christmas lights will do...
- Go Caroling! Singing Christmas tunes are a sure fire way to get you in the Christmas spirit!
- Do a random act of kindness. Don't forget what the season is all about! Why not buy a cup of coffee for a stranger? They'll smile. We're sure of it.

CLICK HERE for a few more ideas to get in the Christmas spirit!