If you’re back-to-school shopping for your kids, here are a few guidelines for what to buy—and what not to buy, as well as some tips for inspecting the local playground and soccer field:
- Make sure all art supplies carry a label that says: “Conforms to ASTM D-4236.” This means that the product conforms to the Labeling of Hazardous Art Materials Act. This law says that all art materials be reviewed to determine the potential for causing a chronic health hazard and that appropraite warning labels be placed on the materials. The law applies to many children’s toy products such as crayons, chalk, paint sets, modeling clay, coloring books, pencils, and any other products used by children to produce a work of visual or graphic art.
- Avoid clothing that has hood or neck drawstrings. Most children’s clothes are already free of neck drawstrings that can tangle and cause accidents and death—but its your responsibility to check your children’s clothes yourself. Drawstrings are easy to remove.
- Take a look at your child’s playground to make sure there is a layer of wood chips or other shock absorbing material to help cushion falls. Make sure portable soccer goals are securely anchored so they won’t topple over and crush anyone. The CPSC says 28 children have been killed by soccer goals since 1979.
- Provide the correct helmet for the correct activity. Football helmets for football, etc.
Consumerist would also add that it’s a good idea to avoid cheap metal jewelry when back-to-school shopping because of possible lead contamination. Also, cheap jewelry is tacky. Let’s face it.