Child safety: How to deal with baby toy recalls and safety hazards around your home

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If you have a baby, worries about child safety are a part of your daily life, especially...

If you have a baby, worries about child safety are a part of your daily life, especially when unexpected baby toy recalls can happen at a moment's notice. Fortunately, there are ways to stay worry-free and keep your little one safe.

What should you do if your baby's toy is being recalled?

  • Write down the product numbers of your child's toys. Product numbers are usually located underneath the toy.
  • Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website and register for email alerts that update you on toy recalls.
  • Keep receipts. Stores often take a toy back if it's on the recall list, and reimburse you in the process.
  • Register with the manufacturer when you purchase a toy. If the manufacturer has enclosed forms along with the toy, fill them out and send them in. If you do, the manufacturer will usually contact you when a recall is issued.
  • Download the CPSC app, which can alert you to recalls when they happen. You can also search for recalls no matter where you are.

Steps to take for your child's safety

If you're concerned about child safety, there are many things you can do to keep your baby safe.

  • Don't purchase toys that have small parts that can be easily pulled apart. That's a choking accident waiting to happen. According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, more than 41 children choked to death between 2005 and 2009 after ingesting balloons, toys or toy parts. If you have a child aged three or younger, don't purchase toys that are small enough to pass through a toilet paper tube.
  • Sometimes toys that you wouldn't expect to can be dangerous. Case in point: Inflatable baby boats. These cute, colorful boats were supposed to be a safe way for a baby to float in a pool. However, in one case they proved to be dangerous after 30 babies nearly drowned because the leg straps on these toys kept tearing, causing the little ones to slip through. It resulted in a recall of four million items.
  • Toys with magnets should also be kept out of the reach of inquisitive fingers. Magnets can come loose and become a choking hazard.
  • Toys with straps or strings can be strangulation hazards. That cute mobile toy hanging above your baby's crib? Keep that away from little hands. It's something that your baby could become tangled in.
  • Purchasing secondhand toys is risky. Sweeping reforms have been enacted that strictly regulate the amount of lead and other toxic materials in toys, but older toys for sale at thrift and consignment stores don't always meet these new limits.

There are more ways to keep your baby safe around the house, and your Atlanta-based pediatrician may have additional ideas. If you're worried about what to do if a toy injures your baby, contact a local Atlanta emergency specialist.

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