Feature Archive

Avoid Toy Horror Stories

Six toy-buying tips to keep your kids safe.

By Tula Karras
WebMD Feature Topping your child's wish list this season is probably something bearing the coveted image of a Pokemon.

Stuffing your little collector's stocking with his heart's desires may be high on your list. But every parent's number one concern should be to make sure that whatever it is you wrap up for your child this year, it's safe. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 120,000 children were treated in hospital emergency rooms in 1998 for toy-related injuries, and 14 children died.

Being a member of the safety police is a year-round job for any parent. But the batch of new toys introduced during the holidays each year calls for extra caution. Here are some life-saving rules to follow this season and every day hereafter.

Stay Updated on Toy Recalls

By far, most toys on the market today are safe. But occasionally a company will voluntarily recall a product because of defects or reports of injuries or death. The CPSC has set up an automated email list that will help you stay up-to-date with recalls. Send the message "Join CPSCINFO-L" to listproc@cpsc.gov and you'll be automatically added to the list.

And if you find a problem with a toy or product, email the CPSC at info@cpsc.gov or call their hotline at 800-638-2772. The organization also maintains a list of recalled products on their website.