We can all do our best for children

  • Read one of the Kids Risk on-line guides to learn about children's risks and what you can do about them
  • Take a look at the sizes of some of the risks that today's American children face, because the myth of zero risk continues to prevail with some people seeking to completely eliminate risks even though risk is part of life and we must all put risks in context to ensure that we make good choices
  • Check out the Kids Risk list of ways to reduce children's risks and make good choices and empower kids you know to teach others about risks
  • Help kids become media deconstruction experts - Kids learn all the time, and current studies suggest that American children today spend more time learning from media than they spend in school. We've done a lot of research on movies and video games, and it's up to adults to help kids take charge of media and become critical media consumers. Think about questions that you can use to engage kids in discussions about the messages that they get from media.
  • Learn about the results of all of our research
  • Appreciate the power of attention and do your part

The Power of Attention

Pay attention to your kids and their environments. It sounds so simple. But in today's hectic world, it's easy to get distracted by the demands and opportunities of the "24/7" life. One important opportunity that too many parents currently miss is simply reading the warning labels on products to make sure they are appropriate. Whether it's paying attention to the content information about the latest video game, or noting the small parts warning on the box of a toy, those warnings exist to help parents make better choices. You may not think about this when it comes to toys and activities, but they are products that can be misused in ways that could cause real harm, just like any other product.

The small parts warning is particularly important for children under 3, who tend to put objects in their mouths. In our study on children's mouthing behavior, parents reported that their children mouthed a wide range of objects, including some small parts. It is true that most of the time you will be lucky and nothing bad will happen. But why take any chances on something like that when appropriate options exist? Consumers must make sure to keep the toys of older children out of the hands of younger ones, particularly away from children under 3, and to use the products as intended. It's also important to realize that small parts can represent a hazard to children beyond choking. If a child in your care ingests anything that could be harmful, make sure to contact the poison control center at 1-800-222-1222 and your child's doctor. Some foreign objects can cause serious harm in the body, including batteries, magnets, and some metallic products, and the sooner you can get your child to the doctor the better.

Of course protecting kids depends on everyone, and parents can't do it alone. Companies need to provide warnings and do everything they can to educate parents about the importance of these warnings. They should take advantage of opportunities to go above and beyond what is required by the government.

Always choose the right toys for the kids in your life. And most importantly, give children your greatest gift by giving them your attention.

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