East Texas parents find online toy safety guide helpful

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – For Misty Walling, mother of two, safety means everything. With three-month-old Alynna, toy shopping for big sis is tricky.

"I try to be careful about small toys," Walling said. "The oldest one is into Polly Pockets so I just try to make sure that she has a case that's not easily accessible you know."

The Texas Public Interest Research Group suggests parents use the toilet roll test for tiny toys. If the small object slides through the roll, PIRG said it could pose a danger. "If a toy fits into this tube, it's too small for a child under the age of three," said Elizabeth Hitchcock with PIRG.

As grandmother Phyllis Richnow shops for her young grandchildren, she pays pay close attention to warning labels. "I want something that's safe," Richnow said. "I want something that's not sharp objects, little bitty objects they could swallow."

What about toy guns?

"Do these shoot out of it? Are those hard though?" asked Betsy Conn, mother of three.

To answer those questions this web site lets shoppers check each item's safety before a purchase.

The Spy Gear Viper-Blaster was listed on a worst toy list due to injuries it could cause to eyes. "Be careful where I shoot them because I have a dog," said Dante, age seven. "I usually play with it in the backyard so I don't hit my mom's car or something."

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