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In a few days, children will unwrap holiday packages and start playing with
their new toys.
are some simple steps parents can take to make sure their holiday gifts are
North Carolina Attorney General Roy Cooper says, "Parents work hard to find the
best deals on toys and other holiday gifts. But parents' work doesn't end once
all the gifts have been opened. Check your kids' gifts to make sure
they're safe and age-appropriate."
To determine the safety of a gift, Cooper suggests the following:
labels that list the appropriate age for some toys. It may not be safe
to let younger children play with toys designed for older children due to
choking hazards and other risks. According to the Consumer Product Safety
Commission, children under age three shouldn't play with toys with small parts
or pieces, and children under age eight should avoid toys with sharp edges and
you let your kids play with a new toy or gadget, then go over how to use the
item with them. Decide whether or not kids will be allowed to play with a
new toy unsupervised. If you aren't comfortable that your kids can use a
toy safely, don't let them play with it.
online safety for new
tablets, laptops, phones, or other devices that get Internet access.
Enable filtering software or parental monitoring, and remind kids not to
post or share personal information or photos that could fall into the wrong
hands. Consider including with the gift a list of rules that kids have to
agree to when using the device. A sample list of rules for computer/Internet
access is available as part of the Internet safety toolkit at www.ncdoj.gov
for apps. Kids
may be eager to download applications to their new electronic devices, but
check out apps yourself before kids get to use them. Some supposedly free
apps can actually cost you quite a bit of money, especially if used on a device
or account that is linked to a credit card. A recent study by the Federal Trade Commission also
found that many kids' apps collect personal information and share it with
advertisers and others, often without giving you notice. More tips on
checking out apps are available from the FTC at onguardonline.gov.
games are age-appropriate. Computer
and video games are popular holiday gifts, but not all games are created for
kids. To find age-appropriate games, check the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) ratings.