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Toy Safety Tips 

During the holiday season as during the rest of the year, it is important to put safety first when purchasing toys. Taking the time to choose the safest toys and gifts will help to keep your holidays safe and happy. 

Product Alerts | Choosing Toys | Things to Avoid | After Opening Gifts

  Choosing Toys

  • Make sure that gifts are not recalled toys or children’s products. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website www.cpsc.gov (exit DHS) for more information.
  • Be a label reader. Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
  • Choose washable toys.  Many stuffed toys can trigger asthma and allergy attacks as they are a common source for dust mites and other substances.  To find asthma friendly toys, look for the asthma and allergy friendly™ certification logo.
  • Select toys to suit the age, abilities, skills, and interest level of the intended child. Look for sturdy construction, such as tightly-secured eyes, noses and other potential small parts. 
  • For all children under age eight, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.

  Things to Avoid

  • Magnets – For children under age six, avoid building sets with small magnets. If swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur. 
  • Small Parts – For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts.  Young children tend to put toys in their mouths which can cause choking. 
  • Ride-on Toys – If you are giving riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates, you should provide properly-sized helmets and other safety gear.
  • Projectile Toys – Projectile toys such as air rockets, darts and sling shots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.
  • Imported Toys – Give careful consideration to giving toys imported from countries with less strict manufacturing standards. Many have been found to contain lead which can harm children. For more information, visit the product recall alerts about toys and other products that contain dangerous amounts of DHS lead website.
  • Chargers and Adapters – Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Battery chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to children.
  • BB guns - BB guns should not be considered toys. Children require proper safety lessons on BB guns just like with other guns.

After Opening Gifts

  • Promptly and properly dispose of plastic wrappings and other gift wrapping to avoid choking and suffocation.
  • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings or neighbors. 
  • Pay attention to instructions and warnings on toys and batteries.
  • Repair or throw away damaged toys.
  • Make a list of safety rules with your child, and be sure to share them with all children playing with your child.

Last Revised: January 28, 2014