I just got an amazing new collection of small wooden blocks…150 pieces with an even greater price. The quality is very good–there are both plain and colored blocks. I was really psyched -hoping we could get a safety verification form quickly so that we could put it on our Platinum List. But then I looked at the age label 2 & up and while all of the pieces pass the federal guidelines for small parts with a choke tube, the pieces are just a tad bigger than the regulations provide. In otherwords, they are legal but if you used a toilet paper roller (recommended to consumers by the CPSC), the pieces would fail.
This year we got many many sets with toys for pieces that are unnecessarily small. And while you could argue that your two year old may not choke, the pieces could certainly gag your toddler. If you’ve watched toddlers play, you know they still taste their toys.
There is no developmental or educational value of smaller parts for this age group that outweighs the safety issues poses by these smaller pieces.
So – yes toys are much safer this holiday season. The toy industry is now required to pre-test toys -rather than the old self-regulation systems. But still know that you are still the best consumer advocate your child can have. We still advise you to take a toilet paper roller and do your own at home test. If the toy fits within diameter of the roller, put it away for now.