- The first thing you must do when buying a new product is to read the components section carefully to spot potentially hazardous substances. Whenever you come across a component you don't recognize, go to the Product Safety Standards or Guidance page of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) where you can find regulations regarding the substance in question. Avoid buying products for kids (clothes, toys) containing hazardous materials and hide cleaning products from young family members.
- Check the size of a product and its packaging to determine whether it is possible for it to be swallowed by a child. Small toys, as well as toys with removable parts constitute a threat for children's safety, as they can result in choking accidents. Search the packaging for relevant warnings or recommended age labeling. After buying a product, check again to see if you can easily break off any of its parts.
- Parts of a product can be dangerous when they are pointed, sharp, can trap fingers, close the person's breathing routes and generally harm the consumer in any way. For example, uncovered screws on a baby swing can be dangerous for toddlers, as well as uncovered cogwheels on mechanical toys, such as miniature cars. These parts can be either a fault of the manufacturer or even a result of your own reckless assemblage, so be careful when putting different parts together.
Faults and Glitches
- Dangers may not be apparent until you start using the product. As soon as you purchase a new item, test its main features to ensure it operates smoothly. For instance, use a crane to move a heavy box, turn on the microwave oven to heat food and test your lawnmower in the garden. Check for issues such as overheating, unusual noises and loose connections between moving parts.