Toys are important for children’s development, and they’re a lot of fun! But finding age-appropriate toys that are safe for kids to play with is very important. Here are some general safety guidelines to keep in mind while you’re shopping for children’s toys this holiday season.
Toy Safety Tips
Keep in mind that while older toys may have sentimental value, they might not meet current safety standards. Here are current guidelines to be on the lookout for:
- Make sure fabric toys are labeled flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Crayons and paints should be labeled ASTM D-4236, meaning they’ve been tested by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- If there is paint on the toys, it should be lead-free.
- Make sure toys are large enough that they can’t be swallowed or lodged in the windpipe. Choking poses a serious risk for children, who often like to explore putting things in their mouths.
- Read safety labels to make sure the toy is appropriate for the child’s age.
- Follow all manufacturer instructions for safe use of the toy.
- If you’re purchasing a battery-operated toy, make sure it has a case that is secured with screws so it can’t be pried open by the child.
- Riding toys should include safety harnesses or straps and be secure enough to avoid tipping.
If you’re buying toys for an infant or toddler, make sure they are strong enough for chewing. Toys for this age group should also be free of parts that pinch, sharp ends, or small parts that can be pulled loose. Strings should not be longer than 7 inches.
Keeping Toys Safe
Teaching your kids to put their toys away is one of the most effective ways to prevent toys from breaking (and stubbing adult toes in the middle of the night!) and to prevent slip and fall accidents. Supervise your children while they’re playing and regularly inspect their toys for signs of damage. Wooden toys may develop splinters, outdoor toys might rust, or stuffed toys could start to come apart. Repair or throw away broken toys right away.
If you’re gifting your child a bicycle, roller skates, or similar outdoor equipment, make sure to include safety gear such as a helmet and knee pads.
Trust Your Instincts
If you’re ever unsure about the safety of a toy, err on the side of caution. You can report unsafe toys to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) by calling (800) 638-CPSC.
Schuerman Law has been working with personal injury claims for over 40 years. John Schuerman will compassionately advocate for injured individuals as well as their families while fighting for full compensation of their claims. Schuerman Law offers evening and weekend appointments in addition to home and hospital visits. Schedule a free consultation today by calling 1-800-274-0045.