Five Tips for Buying Safe Toys
It’s magical when a child holds a treasured toy for the first time. That precious look in the child’s eye says it all. For grownups, that’s the joy of giving toys for birthdays, holidays – or just because.
But while kids want fun stuff, they need safe playthings too. Thousands of toy-related injuries happen every year. So keep these safety tips in mind on your next trip down the toy aisle:
- Read labels carefully. Labels on toy packages can help you decide if the toy is safe for a child’s age and matches his or her interests and abilities. Make sure the label says the toy is nontoxic – meaning it doesn’t contain materials that could poison a child.
- Look for potential hazards. For instance, loud toys can harm a child’s hearing. Strings or ribbons on stuffed animals can cause strangulation – remove them if the gift is for a young child. And small game pieces are OK for older kids, but they may choke a younger child if swallowed.
- Think twice about flying toys. Toys that shoot things into the air can be a blast. But some parts may injure eyes or be choking hazards.
- For young kids, avoid toys that need to be plugged in. Children under 10 are safer with battery-powered toys instead. Just remember to keep button batteries – which might be swallowed – away from younger siblings.
- Hand them a helmet too. Buying a riding toy? Don’t forget to include this safety gear for your skateboarding teen or tricycling tyke.