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Toy safety starts with knowing about recalls

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Posted: Thursday, March 31, 2011 9:05 am | Updated: 10:35 am, Thu Mar 31, 2011.

Millions of toys are manufactured every year. While the large majority of them are safe for child use, a few slip through the cracks and are deemed unsafe after they hit the store shelves. To ensure that the toys children are playing with will provide years of safe enjoyment, parents and caregivers can keep abreast on product recalls.

There are a few ways individuals can keep track of products. The first is by registering any items with the company from which they were bought. This can be done via the postcard that is included in the packaging of many toys and other products or by going onto the manufacturer's Web site and filling out the required information. If the company engages in a voluntary recall, registered people can be informed.

Another method to finding out about product recalls and unsafe items is to contact any number of organizations. Many third-party organizations regularly post information about product recalls, the most notable of which is the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Those interested in learning about potential recalls can use the following contact information.

• Consumer Product Safety Commission: Visit the CPSC Web site at www.cpsc.gov and click on the "Recalls and Product Safety News" link.

Recalls.gov: This is a relatively new site that has combined the jurisdictions of six U.S. federal agencies to alert the public.

• Baby Zone: This site regularly publishes information about safety recalls. Here is the link for the 2010 recalls: www.babyzone.com/safety/recalls/photos_2010-recalls-toy-gear/.

• Health Canada: Canadians can learn about recalls through Canada's official health and safety site at www.hc-sc.gc.ca.

Recalls.org: A nonprofit organization for the benefit of the public, Recalls.org publishes product recalls.

• Fisher-Price: Fisher-Price recalled a number of products at the end of 2010. For a complete list of products and instructions, visit www.service.mattel.com/us/recall.asp.

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