During the holiday season as during the rest of the year, it's important to put safety first when buying toys. To keep your holidays safe and happy, take time to choose the safest toys and gifts.
- Make sure that gifts are not recalled toys or children’s products. For more information, visit the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website.
- 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 of dust mites and other substances. To find asthma-friendly toys, look for the Asthma & 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 8 years of age, avoid toys that have sharp edges and points.
Things to Avoid
- Magnets – For children under 6, avoid building sets with small magnets. If magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
- Small Parts – For children under 3, 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 slingshots are for older children. Improper use of these toys can result in serious eye injuries.
- Imported Toys – Think carefully before giving toys imported from countries with less strict manufacturing standards. Many have been found to contain lead, which can harm children.
- 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. As with other guns, children require proper safety lessons on BB guns before using them.
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.
- 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.