'Tis the season to shop and for parents that means getting the must-have holiday toys.
But sorting out what's safe and what potentially could pose a hazard to a child can be daunting.
At a hearing on Capitol Hill Thursday product safety experts said they have tightened loopholes and strengthened mandatory toy standards since the 2008 Consumer Product Safety Act kicked in, improvements that are helping to ensure dangerous metals like lead don't make it into products in the first place.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission is working with companies to test products, and also reaching out to parents to help give them the tools they need before they go shopping.
That includes making it easier to register products and receive information about recalls.
"The true measure of success is how we can help young mother or father shop for toys, a crib or a high chair find safe, reliable consumer products," said CPSC Chairwoman Inez Tenenbaum.
That includes providing easy to access information on product safety websites about the standards and dangers, along with tips like choosing age-appropriate toys and creating a play-safe zone at home.
Beginning in March the Consumer Product Safety Commission will launch a new comprehensive consumer incident database where parents can log on and research safety-related complaints and reviews about products.