Buying Safe Toys This Holiday Season

We are finally arriving at the most magical time of the year, the holidays! This year has not been an easy one, and the holidays can be such a good mood-booster! Buying gifts for family members is so exciting and fun, but it's essential to make sure that the toys you purchase for your child are age-appropriate. Toys that are too mature for your child can be hazardous. When shopping in stores, this is usually relatively simple. Generally, the isle you are in will help find an appropriate toy and the box usually lists an age range for play. Still, with COVID restrictions and changes, many of us will probably be doing most of our toy browsing online. Online shopping can make it a little more challenging to inspect your gifts, but here are some general rules to remember and things to look for while you're shopping:

  1. Check the online description for an age range – this is an excellent way to ensure right away that the toy will be age-appropriate
  2. Read warnings – This can help determine if the toy is age-appropriate as well.
  3. Look for toys with sturdy plastic - small parts that might break off can be a hazard for children under three or any child that mouths items.
  4. Ensure that stuffed animals have well-secured features – these can also fall off and become a choking hazard.
  5. Avoid small toys – If small toys are appropriate for an older child, ensure that these do not get left out for a younger child to find.
  6. Avoid toys that are loud or don't have noise control – these can damage your child's hearing.
  7. Avoid any toy with a string longer than 12 inches – these pose a hazard for children under 18 months.
  8. If buying a used toy, check recalls.gov or cpsc.gov to ensure that the older toy is still safe for play. Toy safety requirements have changed a lot in the last 20 years and are continually evolving and improving.
  9. Don't forget the safety gear – if buying toys like scooters, bikes, or skateboards, don't forget to purchase the appropriate safety gear along with it.

If you are looking for more information, Playsafe.org has compiled a safe toy buying guide. They have lists of toy suggestions specific to your child's age, which can be a great starting point for your shopping as well!

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Saturday, 15 May 2021

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