Giving your child the gift of a toy can be a precious moment as you watch the joy on their face when they unwrap their new present!
While choosing toys to gift to your kids is exciting, it’s very important to ensure that the toys you choose are totally safe for your child to play with.
There are so many different types of toys available today. Battery operated, puzzles, bath toys, blocks, push toys, and lots more. But not all toys are safe for kids of any age. And that means that it’s essential to take the time to ensure that whatever toy you choose meets the toy safely guidelines that have been put together by experts to keep your precious child safe.
To make things as easy as possible for you, our team of dedicated researchers has put together a comprehensive list of top toy safely tips to keep your child safe during play.
Toy Safety Guidelines Checklist
The golden rule when buying toys for your child, no matter what age they are is: Always choose toys that are age appropriate.
You know your child better than anyone. You know what stage of development they are at and what they are capable of handling, so please take the time to ensure you pick a toy that is completely age appropriate.
Baby And Toddler Toy Safety Tips
When it comes to choosing toys for your baby or toddler, it’s important to ensure that there are no toy safety issues that could potentially harm your child or prove fatal.
To help you when you’re toy shopping for your baby or toddler, here’s our comprehensive checklist you can use as a guide:
- Avoid toys with sharp edges that could hurt your child
- Choose toys that will aid in your child’s development. Toys like shape sorters, stacking blocks, puzzles and plush are fantastic for fine motor, cognitive, tactile and sensory development.
- Do not give babies and toddlers toys that have small pieces that are easily removed that could potentially choke them
- Avoid toys that your toddler or baby could remove the battery from as this is potentially life threatening if they put it in their mouth
- Do not give babies and toddlers toys that have magnets as these are a choking hazard
- Babies and toddlers can choke on deflated or deflated balloons so don’t give them these types of toys to play with
- Make sure any infant rattles are large enough so your baby cannot get it stuck in it’s mouth
- Remove all crib toys with strings, ribbons or cords when your baby is starting to push up on their hands and knees as these pose a strangulation risk. The same applies to playpen toys.
- Avoid really loud toys for your baby or toddler as they can damage their hearing and/or scare them
- Check that the toys you buy don’t have any toxic materials that could harm your baby or toddler
- Don’t give your baby or toddler any toys stuffed with pellets or beans as they can choke on these if they leak out of the toy
- Remove any cords, strings or ribbons from toys you give your baby or toddler as they could become entangled around your child’s neck causing them to suffocate or choke
- Throw away any toys your child has that are in poor condition as they could pose a threat to your toddler or baby
- Keep all toys clean and in good condition to keep your baby or toddler healthy and safe
- Teach your toddler to put away their toys after playtime to avoid them tripping over them and having a fall
- Keep your older children’s toys away from your younger children as they could injure your baby or toddler
Toy Safety Tips For Older Children
Even though your child has passed the toddler stage, you still have to be careful and make sure that any toys you buy are safe for them to play with. Using your own good judgement when choosing the right toy for your older child will help ensure it has all the necessary features to keep them safe.
Here’s our safety checklist to help you when shopping for toys for older children:
- Pick toys that match your child’s skills, interest and ability as this will ensure they continue to develop their social, mental, cognitive, fine and gross motor skills
- Never let your child put the caps for toy guns in their pockets as they could ignite and burn them
- Make sure your child is mature enough to operate an electric toy and supervise the use of the toy
- If an electric toy has a heating element, then don’t allow younger children to plug it in by themselves
- Only allow children who are old enough and responsible enough to play with magnetic building toys because ingested magnets can cause serious health risks
- Ensure any toys your choose can withstand the abuse and use your child will give them to ensure their durability
- Check all toys and ensure there are no toxic materials or chemicals that could make your child ill
- Any art materials and toys should be non-toxic and non-hazardous to keep your child safe and conform to ASTM-D4236
- Look for quality design and construction when selecting toys
- Do not give toys that could be used as weapons to children who are not old enough and responsible enough to use them. These include toys that fire darts, pellets, arrows and any other kind of projectile.
- For older children and teens, ensure they only use chargers that come with specific toys like hoverboards to reduce the risk of fire
- When charging toys, ensure they are not left charging overnight or left unattended because of the risk of fire
- Make sure you and your child read the directions for toys with several parts that require being put together or constructed to ensure that no accidents occur
- Supervise children who play with science toys, like chemistry sets, to ensure they follow the instructions and don’t consume any of their creations
- If you’re thinking of getting a digital device for your child or teenager, such as a smartphone, tablet, game system or laptop, be sure to put rules and supervisory practices in place to keep your child or teen safe and ensure healthy digital media usage.
General Toy Safety Guidelines
Sadly, every year many kids are either injured or die from toy related accidents, leaving parents and families heartbroken and distraught.
Our number one goal is to ensure that all of our customers are completely clear on the precautions they can take to keep their child safe when playing with toys.
Following the toy safety guidelines below will go a long way to ensuring your child enjoys playtime in a safe way, no matter what age they are:
- Buy toys that are age appropriate for your child
- Read instructions and packaging before giving the toy to your child to check safety precautions and warnings
- Make sure you choose large toys for babies and young toddler so they cannot put them into their mouth and choke
- Do not buy toys with toxic materials that could harm your child
- Avoid buying toys that are really loud as they could damage your child’s hearing
- Don’t buy toys that shoot projectiles for children too young and immature to play responsibly with them
- Only buy plastic toys that are sturdy and well made and mold-proof
- Make sure all electric toys are UL Approved
- Take away all crib toys and playpen toys when your baby starts getting up on hands and knees
- Remove and dispose of all packaging from toys as it can be hazardous
- Keep toys for older children out of reach of younger children
- Teach your kids to put their toys away to avoid trips and accidents
- Never let young children change the batteries in toys
- Do not let young children plug in electric toys or remove the plug from the socket
- Only buy stuffed toys that are extremely well made
- Do not give chemistry sets, hobby sets, and science kits to children too young to play with them responsibly
- Keep all toys and play equipment in good condition and remove or fix broken toys that could be hazardous
- Do not allow children under 8 to play with deflated balloons
- Ensure there is adequate supervision when young children are playing with toys
- Do not give heavy toys to babies, toddlers or young children
- Avoid toys with small magnets for younger children
- Store toys in a safe location
We all want our kids to enjoy their childhood and part of that enjoyment is playing with toys. Toys are an important part of a child’s development and playing with them is something that should be encouraged.
Choosing the right toys and double checking their safety features is essential to keeping your child safe during playtime.
You can rest assured that we thoroughly check the safety, age appropriateness, potential hazards, and durability of every toy we research before we include it in any of our toys guides.