Cherie Sage, state director of Safe Kids Kansas, has urged parents to read the warning labels on the toys they buy for their children this holiday season.
Most toys are very safe, but it's still important to make note of the warning labels. According to data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2009 there were more than 186,000 emergency room visits stemming from improper toy use — up more than threefold over 2005.
"Warning labels and manufacturers' instructions tell you how to use the product safely," Sage told KDHE. "If the manufacturer sets a minimum age or other restrictions, there's a reason. For example, a label reading 'not appropriate for children under 3' may be present because the toy poses a choking hazard, not because it's too difficult for a 2-year-old."
Likewise, toy manufacturers need to be careful when making recommendations for their products. Informative labels are crucial to avoid being on the wrong end of a lawsuit.