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Tips to Consider When Purchasing Toys for Children

Posted by Jen Rossi on Dec 8, 2014 8:00:47 PM


While there are many considerations for selecting a toy this holiday season- whether it is the right character, color, if batteries are included, if they already have this one, and if this is the best available price- be sure to start your search with safety in mind.

If the child is less than 3 years old-

  • Check for small parts. Parts or balls with a diameter of 1.75 inches (44.4 mm) or less is a choking hazard and should be labeled as such.
  • All edges should be rounded and smooth.
  • Toys with cords, strings, or straps that fit around the neck should not be given to young children.
  • Toys will mirrors may have plastic film to protect them from scratches during manufacturing and shipment. Be sure to remove this film before giving the toy to a child. The film is a choking hazard.
  • Painted toys should be painted with nontoxic, lead-free paint.
  • Make sure the toy does not contain parts that can pinch or entrap fingers, toes, or hair.
  • Avoid toys that include magnets as these can pose a deadly risk to children if swallowed.


Other Considerations:

  • How does it work? Does it need to charge or use batteries? Be sure that all toys with electronic elements are used with adult supervision.
  • Size of battery- button batteries are a swallowing hazard. Also keep this in mind if you purchase or receive a musical card or voiced greeting.
  • Consider the age physical and mental of the recipient. Depending on developmental milestones, some toys may not be appropriate for a child that is not ready to use the toy safely.
  • Consider the age of other children in the home.
  • Be sure to check toys for wear and tear regularly. Remove toys that are missing components or are damaged where they pose a risk to the child.
  • Choose storage containers and toy chests without lids or with stay-open hinges to avoid pinched fingers, a child being trapped, the lid closing causing a strangulation hazard, and other injuries.


More tips and information

United States Consumer Product Safety Commission

includes tips for selecting age-appropriate toys and the latest recalls from manufacturers and distributors.


This blog post is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.

Topics: Safety At Home