NEW YORK, Oct. 29, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- As the holiday shopping season fast approaches, a new national survey of U.S. parents*, conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of the Toy Industry Association (TIA) in October, has revealed some concerning findings on parents' perceptions of toy safety and toy shopping practices. According to the survey, when buying a toy for a child, only 27% of parents* "strongly agree" that the recommended age on the toy's packaging is a major factor in their selection.
"It's important that parents and other shoppers understand that following age guidance and other safety information on toy packaging is the best way to ensure that playtime is both fun and safe for children," said Steve Pasierb, President & CEO of the Toy Industry Association. "Though well-meaning, giving a child a toy or game that does not match his or her age is not appropriate. Age grading has nothing to do with how smart a child is — it's an important safety guidance that's based on the developmental skills and abilities of children at a given age and the specific features of a toy."
In addition, the survey found that just 26% of U.S. parents* strongly believe that families keep toys for older children separate from those made for young kids under 3, and a mere 18% of parents* strongly agree that adults usually demonstrate the right way to play with a toy before giving it to a child. These behaviors conflict with guidance from toy safety experts, who recommend that toys meant for older children – many of which contain small parts – be kept in a separate toy chest that cannot be accessed by children under 3, and that demonstrating how to use a toy or game is the best way to make sure a child understands how to properly and safely enjoy it.
"Ensuring the safety of children at play is a responsibility shared by toymakers as well as parents and caregivers," said Pasierb. "We encourage families to enlist the help of older children in keeping their toys out of the hands of younger siblings, and to get down on the floor and demonstrate how kids can use their new playthings safely. Following these simple safety recommendations will go a long way toward preventing accidents and keeping playtime fun and enriching for kids and parents alike!"
TIA is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages, and serves as the industry's voice on the developmental benefits of fun, safe play. Toy safety is the top priority of TIA and its members. TIA helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago and continues to work with medical professionals, government officials, consumer groups and industry leaders on ongoing programs to ensure safe play.
For more information on toy safety and smart safety tips for parents and caregivers, please visit PlaySafe.org, TIA's year-round resource for fun and safe play.
*Parents of children 18 or younger
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of TIA from October 22-26, 2015 among 562 parents of kids under 18. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
About the Toy Industry Association (TIA) www.toyassociation.org / www.PaySafe.org
Founded in 1916, the Toy Industry Association™, Inc. (TIA) is the not-for-profit trade association representing all businesses involved in creating and delivering toys and youth entertainment products for kids of all ages. Over the past 100 years, TIA has led the health and growth of the toy industry, and today its 750+ members account for an estimated 90% of the annual $22 billion U.S. domestic toy market. The Association serves as the industry's voice on the cognitive, social, emotional and creative benefits of play, and promotes play's positive impact on childhood development to consumers and media. TIA has a long history of leadership in toy safety, having helped develop the first comprehensive toy safety standard more than 40 years ago, and remains committed to working with government, consumers and industry on ongoing programs to ensure safe and fun play.
SOURCE Toy Industry Association