Published: Nov 19, 2010 1:54 PM EST
Updated: Nov 19, 2010 11:00 AM EST

     WASHINGTON (AP) - The government says tougher safeguards for
toys mean better choices for families this holiday season.
      But it's important to buy age-appropriate toys, have the proper
safety equipment and make sure kids play in safe surroundings.
      Consumer Product Safety Commission head Inez Tenenbaum told The
Associated Press on Thursday that tough U.S. standards on lead
content are one reason for a decline in toy recalls.
      There have been fewer than 45 recalls this year, compared with
50 a year ago and 172 in 2008.
      The agency also says it received 12 reports last year of
toy-related deaths involving kids younger than 15. That's just half
as many as in each of the two prior years.
      The bad news: Toy-related injuries are rising.
      There were 186,000 emergency room visits last year by kids for
injuries related to toys, compared with 152,000 in 2005.
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      Online:
      Consumer Product Safety Commission: http://www.cpsc.gov