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Toy Industry Association Releases Summer Safety Tips



Sandboxes, squirt guns, bikes and kites...these images of summer mean more hours of sunlight and school vacation. With thousands of innovative summer toys on store shelves, summer months present more playtime than other seasons, necessitating a heightened awareness by caregivers for child safety.

"Parents must engage children in a special conversation about toy safety and be involved in their children's summertime play. With parents keeping safety at the top of their minds, children will be able to enjoy the great outdoors all summer long," explains Heather Paul,

Toy Industry Association's (TIA) Toy Safety Advocate.

Parents should be aware of the increased risks that may occur during the time of year when more unsupervised play happens. Paul advises parents to set aside a quiet time to review summer safety tips. These include instructions on where to play (away from bodies of water, traffic or in parking lots); what to wear to protect oneself against serious injury such as helmets, reflective clothing, kneepads, elbow pads and a horn or bell; how to handle motorized ride-on toys; and also the dangers of roughhousing or rough play.

Posting a copy of the TIA's kid-friendly Summer Safety Tip Sheet on the fridge can also help enforce a few simple, but effective rules during this special time of year.

Summer Toy Safety Tips

1. Keep plenty of water or sports drinks on hand before, during and after outdoor play. Studies show that children do not always experience thirst before dehydration, so it is important that they drink regularly even when they do not feel thirsty.

2. Always have children wear sunscreen when playing outside. They should apply an SPF of at least 15.

3. Constant adult supervision during play is crucial, particularly for outdoor activities involving ride-ons and pools.

4. Keep toys, tricycles and other playthings away from pools so a child is not attracted to play near the water.

5. Always have children wear helmets, and other protective gear when using bicycles, scooters and other ride-ons. Also make sure the gear is secure and fits comfortably.

6. When playing outside, clothing should be light-colored as well as lightweight.

7. Children should avoid playing in areas where insects may be found such as standing water and flower gardens.

8. Ensure that play never takes place near traffic.

9. Ride-on toys should only be used on smooth surfaces.

10. Children should learn the proper turn and stop hand signals when riding bicycles etc.

Parents can download a free Summer Toy Safety Tip Sheet (http://www.toy-tia.org - click on "Summer Toy Safety") and obtain other important information on how to protect their children from summer injuries, including: toy safety quiz for parents to test their toy safety savvy; links to regulatory agencies; downloadable brochures including "Fun Play Safe Play" and "Let's Play: A Guide to Toys for Children With Special Needs."

Parents may also order a copy of "Fun Play Safe Play" and Let's Play: A Guide to Toys for Children With Special Needs," online or via mail by writing to TIA, 1115 Broadway, Suite 400, NY, NY 10010, to request brochures.

Founded in 1916, Toy Industry Association (TIA™), formerly Toy Manufacturers of America, is recognized by government, trade, media and consumers as the authoritative voice of the North American toy industry. TIA (www.toy-tia.org) represents producers of toys, games, interactive products and holiday decorations. Its more than 390 members include manufacturers and importers (regular members), as well as design firms, professional inventors and toy testing laboratories (associate members).