Buying safe toys can sometimes be a very challenging thing to do, especially now that the holiday season is finally here and many people will be buying toys for children. It’s a nice idea to get children something they like, but it’s more important to buy gifts that are safe and age-appropriate.
Before you go shopping, check a list of recalled toys. These are toys that don’t meet the safety standards published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check this online list of recalled toys at www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/ or call 1-800- 638- 2772 to get the list.
Consider the child’s age
When buying toys for children, remember to consider their age and abilities.
• Make sure to buy a toy that’s age appropriate. Generally, the recommended age range is printed on the package or in the instruction manual like this: 5-6 years or +5 years.
• If the child you’re shopping for is under 8 years old, avoid buying toys with sharp points or toys that shoot. These types of toys can cause serious injuries.
• Separate toys that belong to older children and store them where small children can’t reach them.
Take additional safety measures
• Read product labels to make sure toys or items around the house do not contain lead. This harmful substance can affect a child’s health, even if only a small amount is inhaled or swallowed.
• Don’t buy toys with parts that can be removed, like a doll’s eyes, buttons, coins, etc. A child can choke if they swallow these small toy parts.
• When buying a battery-operated toy, make sure the battery compartment can’t be opened by a child. Avoid toys that have to be plugged in or that use electrical wires.
• When a child opens a toy, immediately throw away packaging, including plastic wrappers, boxes, string or other packaging. Children can accidentally choke or harm themselves if they play with them.
To learn more about safety issues see USA.gov, the U.S. Government’s official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).