Holiday Planning: Selecting Safe Holiday Toys
For parents, once you begin holiday planning, it can sometimes seem like the holiday season is all about buying toys. And while your kid probably has a mile-long wish list, it's important to make sure that the gifts you're choosing for your child are safe and age appropriate. The Home Safety Council recommends considering the following guidelines for selecting toys for your child:
Consider age level
- Before choosing toys and games for little ones on your shopping list, consider each child's age, skills and abilities. Toys that are beyond your child's age and developmental ability can be unsafe for him or her, so select toys that are appropriate rather than those children can "grow into."
Check the size
- When purchasing toys for infants and toddlers, select toys, puzzles, rattles and teething toys that are too large to be swallowed.
- Read the labels and other packaging information and base your selection on age recommendations.
Read the labels
- Look for "washable/hygienic materials" or similar labeling on stuffed toys and dolls and "flame retardant/flame resistant" labeling on fabric products and costumes.
Read the use instructions
- Read assembly and use instructions to ensure the toy is appropriate for the child you have in mind.
Look for safety features
- If you purchase stuffed toys, look for those that are rated safe for infants, which will ensure specific safety features, such as secure attachment of the stuffed toys' eyes and noses and non-removable squeaking mechanisms.
Avoid long cords
- Avoid toys with long strings or cords, which could entangle and strangle a child.
Keep latex out
- The Home Safety Council recommends against using latex balloons in homes with young children, as they can swallow an unfilled or broken balloon and suffocate.
Discard plastic wrapping
- Remove and discard plastic wrapping and bags as soon as the toy is opened, as these items are a suffocation hazard to young children.
Throw away broken parts
- Look carefully at infants' toys and dispose of those with small broken parts that could be lodged in an infant's throat.
Stay away from sharp objects
- Motorized and electric toys and games and toys with heavy, sharp and pointed parts or edges can be especially dangerous for young children.
Store adult toys out of reach
- Adult games, such as darts, should be stored up high, out of the reach of all children.
Supervise play time
- Always supervise children closely. Don't permit younger children to play with toys designed for older children or adults. In other words, when holiday planning, keep child safety in mind!
Provided by The Home Safety Council (HSC), a national nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home related injuries that result in nearly 20,000 deaths and 21 million medical visits on average each year. Through national programs, partnerships and the support of volunteers, HSC educates people of all ages about home safety. HSC provides educational resources for teachers, policy makers, corporations as well as fire and life safety experts to help educate and empower families to take actions that will increase the safety of their homes.report abuse