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Safe Shopping Guide

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan released her annual Safe Shopping Guide this week. The guide highlights hazardous toys and other children's products and household items recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission over the past year. Madigan says they released the first guide in 2007, in response to the amount of recalls of children's toys and other products that happened that year.

"Every single year there are, unfortunately, a lot of items that are toys and children's products that are recalled. So what we try to do is we use the holiday shopping season as a good time to alert parents to make sure that they don't have any of these items in their homes, if they have children, and when they're out shopping to make sure they're not purchasing items that might harm their children and make the holiday a less than safe and happy time."

Madigan says the guide is separated into categories including toys, cribs and other furniture and clothing.

"Believe it or not, there's a lot of items of clothing for kids that are recalled. One of the things that is most common, at least this year, (is) a lot of hoodies where there is still a drawstring and unfortunately that poses a strangulation hazard, so a lot of those items end up recalled. So really what we do, though, is try to make (the guide) easy and accessible. So any item that is either a toy or intended for use by a child or with a child is going to be in this guide."

In addition to the recalled items, the guide also includes a new section which addresses online safety with children. Madigan says with the growing number of internet accessible devices purchased for children, she wanted to focus on how to promote their safe use.

"As the Attorney General, unfortunately, I see everything that children face online, whether it's cyber bullies or predators or it's apps that actually invade their privacy and are used by identity thieves to take that information from them and their families. I decided, because we are oftentimes, unfortunately, in this position of responding after there's been a problem, one of the better things to do is be proactive and make sure that parents are buying appropriate devices for their children, have ways to set some controls on that, talk with their kids about what they're doing online and then making sure they're actually monitoring what's taking place. So we've included a lot of information about what kids are doing online and ways for you to engage in a conversation with your child about that and to make sure that hopefully they will be safe and civil while they're on these devices that are obviously very popular requests from kids during the holiday season.

The 2015 Safe Shopping Guide can be found here: Shopping GuideThomack 11/27/15