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10 Toy Safety Tips This Holiday Season

family sitting beside a gift

Photo by Elina Fairytale on

The holidays are in full swing and your children may already be receiving gifts from friends and family. Some toys may seem harmless but every year, many children are injured by their favorite toys. You should be diligent about inspecting your child’s toys and adhere to all age suggestions listed on the packaging.

  1. Read the label.
    • Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure you show your child how to use the toy the right way to avoid any potential dangers.
  2. Think LARGE.
    • Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth. This will prevent your child from trying to stick the toy in their mouth and potentially choking on it.
  3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air.
    • These toys can cause serious eye injuries and present a choking hazard.
  4. For younger children, avoid play sets with small magnets and make sure batteries are secured within the toy.
    • If magnets or batteries are ingested, serious injuries and/or death can occur. Give your child honey to prevent internal burns from batteries until you can get to a hospital, if an accident occurs.
  5. Look for stuffed toys that are well made.
    • Make sure all the parts are on tight, and seams and edges are secure. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
  6. Inspect toys for sturdiness.
    • Your child’s toys should be durable, with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact. Dispose of plastic wrapping material immediately on toys as they may have sharp edges.
  7. Inspect all toys before purchasing.
    • Monitor toys that your child as received as gifts to make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental level.
  8. Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning.
    • Make sure the label says “nontoxic.” If you’re purchasing makeup for your child, consider purchasing “adult” makeup instead of toy makeup.
  9. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years.
    • These kits and sets can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.
  10. Do not buy crib toys.
    • Strings or wires that hang in a crib can cause strangulation or suffocation. It is best to avoid purchasing toys for cribs to avoid SIDS and strangulation.
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