December is “Safe Toys and Gifts Month”. With all of the toys bought and given as gifts each holiday season, what a great time for a reminder on toy safety.
First, it is always important to be aware of all safety risks prior to allowing your child to begin playing with a new toy. As you purchase gifts for the children on your holiday shopping list, keep in mind their age and abilities. Check out these other tips on selecting toys and maintaining the toys you have.
• Take the time to explain to your child how to safely play with the toys.
• Review all warnings on the packaging and instructions.
• Look for strong and sturdy toys that won’t break, crush, or be pulled apart and that can withstand chewing.
• Be sure a toy isn’t too loud for your child, as it could contribute to hearing damage.
• Keep in mind the weight of a toy, to avoid a heavy object falling on your child.
• Avoid small toys that could pose a choking hazard.
• All fabric toys should be labeled flame resistant or flame retardant.
• Stuffed toys should be washable.
• Do not purchase any painted toys containing lead paint.
• Avoid strings and cords longer than 12”.
• Look for the label “non-toxic” on all art toys.
• Avoid electric toys with heating elements.
• Make sure all batteries are secured within the toy and not accessible for kids to play with.
• Be cautious of used and old toys, as they may not meet current safety standards.
• Teach your kids to put away toys to avoid injury.
• Check toys regularly for splinters, rust, broken seams, or removed parts.
• Be aware of toy recalls.
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