7 Toy Safety Guidelines That Will Help Protect Your Kids this Christmas

Every holiday season, parents and grandparents scramble for gifts that will make young children smile. So naturally, they think about what the children like and what other kids their age are getting. However, a present’s most important feature is a high safety rating. So, during National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, let’s discuss some important toy safety guidelines to keep in mind when buying presents for little ones.


Watch out for small parts.


Infants and toddlers put small objects in their mouths. It’s a fact of life. So, their toys must have parts that are too big to swallow. Toy safety guidelines generally consider an item safe if it’s too large to fit inside an empty toilet paper tube.


Note: Be careful with stuffed animals and dolls, too. Many have buttons or plastic eyes that young children can chew off and swallow.


Look for labels.


Most toys are labeled for certain ages. This means children who have reached those ages possess the developmental skills necessary to play with those items appropriately and safely. Never give a little one a toy meant for an older child.


Also, look for toys approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). You want products that meet the organization’s safety standards.


Be careful with magnets.


Some building and play sets are constructed with high-powered magnets. Those aren’t designed for young children. If a toddler eats two or more magnets, they can stick together in the child’s body and cause severe injury or death.


Avoid ropes and cords.


An antique pull toy might look neat or have an interesting family history—but it can also pose serious dangers. Never give a young child a toy with a cord or string longer than 7 inches because it can get wrapped around their neck.


Watch out for toxic materials.


Only give children non-toxic crayons and markers.


Be careful with toys that shoot objects.


If you buy a toy that can shoot a foam arrow or other soft object, make sure it can’t launch anything else—like a pencil. These products can quickly become dangerous if a child gets creative with ammunition.


Know the recalls.


One of the most essential toy safety guidelines is to check every item with the United States Consumer Product Safety Commission. You need to know if it has been recalled.