Four Tips to Avoid Buying Dangerous Toys for the Holidays

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An Atlantic County lawyer is serving up some tips on just how dangerous some toys on the shelves may be this holiday-shopping season.

After handling several cases dealing with children and their safety, Thomas Vesper set out to create what’s now known as the Toys Safety Program.

Vesper highlights 12 types of toys to watch out for, including sharp, stabbing objects and mobiles.

“They’re musical and they think, 'Oh, this is going to help my child coordinating," said Vesper, a partner at Westmoreland, Vesper, Quattrone & Beers. "They look pretty, but they should be as far away from the crib as possible.”

He also gives out three awards every year.

They look pretty, but they should be as far away from the crib as possible.

This year’s Cammie Award for best-camouflaged warning went to Hot Stamps Hair Glitter. The product warns that it contains aluminum powder in small pink print on the back of the packaging.  

“This year’s most bizarre toy is the Jet Heels Wheels," said Vesper. "Somebody actually sat down and thought: 'What can we do to get kids off balance but make it fun?'”

And this tightrope-like toy received this year’s UFEE award.

“Extreme backyard adventures, which may cause severe injury or death," said Vesper of the the toy. "Severe injury or death. Now by calling it an 'extreme backyard adventure,' do you see the euphemism there? Death is not an adventure."

At the end of the day, Vesper has four basic gift guidelines to follow.

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The first is to beware of anything that says "adult supervision required."

“That means right away that what the manufacturer is saying is you have to watch the child every single second they are playing with that product,” said Vesper.

The second is that small parts may be generated from certain toys, and the third is to be careful when it comes to buying things online.

“Ninety-nine percent of all manufacturers that make toys that do have warnings on them do not post the warnings online,” said Vesper.

Lastly, Vesper adds, be sure you’re on the lookout for any toys that may have been recalled in the past that made it back on the shelf.

“You want to avoid death," said Vesper. "You want to avoid serious injury.”

All tips to keep in mind when checking items off your shopping list this holiday season.

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