10 tips for buying safe toys

When you’re buying toys this holiday season it’s important to remember what will be safe toys, as well as fun, for your young child.

There are so many fun toy options, it’s easy to get caught up in what has the most flashing lights or cool features, but often the most simple toys are the most fun and safest for your baby. In fact, if money is tight, you might consider wrapping up household items for your child to open. You might be surprised how much fun a child can have turning a mixing bowl into a drum, or a klenex box and a ball into a game of hide and seek. If you are purchasing toys, or looking around the home, here are ten tips for safe toys.

  1. Avoid toys with sharp points and edges.
  2. Put toys intended for older kids out of reach of babies and toddlers.
  3. Kids love to yank and pull apart toys, so choose sturdy toys that don’t have loose, moving parts that can easily come off.
  4. Buy age-appropriate toys. Read the label, and if it’s not recommended for children under a certain age, then don’t buy it for your baby.
  5. Search for toys that are washable or include the words non-toxic on the label, since so many toys end up in baby’s mouth.
  6. Reduce choking risk by skipping any games that include parts that are smaller than 1.75 inches in diameter for babies and toddlers. A general rule: Any object that can fit into an empty toilet paper roll is a choking hazard and should be out of reach. Toys stuffed with any kind of beans or pellets should be avoided, too, because a baby can choke or suffocate if any of those pellets were to spill out of the toy and end up in your baby’s mouth.
  7. Stay away from toys with loose string, ribbons, or cords because they can become tangled around your baby’s neck.
  8. Avoid toys that shoot objects. Even the simplest versions that shoot plastic objects can cause eye injuries and present choking hazards.
  9. Buy electric toys that are UL-approved, and never permit a child to use a toy with a frayed cord because it can result in shocks and burns. Also, avoid toys with unsecured batteries for anyone under the age of 10. Unsecured means any toy with batteries that are not held in place with a locking mechanism or screw.
  10. Beware of toy chests and toy storage containers. They can pinch little fingers and a child can climb in, get trapped, and suffocate.

If you follow these ten tips for buying safe toys, you can have more peace of mind that your child is safe while learning and playing. But remember, the holiday season is most about spending time together. Try not to get too worried about having the newest and greatest toy for your baby, they are grateful for snuggles and time playing with you, no. matter the toy.