Your child’s safety is our number one priority in the classroom, and we know you feel the same way at home. Injuries are bound to happen—but many are preventable, and knowledge is power.
Did you know?
- More than half of toy-related injuries happen to children younger than 5 years of age.
- Nearly 14 young children per day are treated in the ER after swallowing or inhaling toys.
As you make your list and check it twice, we encourage you to pause. Consider each child’s age and assess any potential risks. Keep these things in mind to ensure your holiday season is a safe and cheerful time for your family and friends.
General Safety Tips
- Look for age recommendations on the packaging. Toys should only be provided to children based on appropriate age and skill level.
- Check for active toy or product recalls.
- Separate toys by age while the children play. Keep a keen eye on the placement of older children’s toys that may pose a risk to curious younger siblings, cousins, or friends.
- Store toys in organized bins or safe locations by age. A clean space also brings peace of mind.
- All toys should pass American Society for Testing and Material (ASTM) standards.
Common Toy Dangers
- Inspect all toys before purchasing. Look for sharp edges or points.
- For younger children, avoid toys with parts that shoot objects or quickly fall apart.
- Check for small parts that could include batteries and magnets. If either is required or present, secure them to decrease access and prevent related hazards.
- Stuffed toys should be well-made and machine washable. Avoid toys stuffed with small pellets that can become a choking hazard. Remove loose strings, ribbons, or tags. Only provide sturdy pieces that are larger than your child’s mouth.
- Avoid excessively loud toys, as this can damage your child’s developing hearing.
- Avoid toxic materials. Look for labels that say “non-toxic.” If you think your child has been exposed to a poisonous material, remove the toy immediately and call your child’s healthcare provider or poison control. (Ex: Paint and crayons should be labeled as ASTM D-4236 to meet non-toxic safety requirements.)
- Steer clear of electric toys or cords around infants or very young children. They require constant, close supervision.
- Buy safety gear (ex: helmet, knee pads, or goggles) for sports equipment. Be sure to reference safety protocols to ensure the gear fits appropriately.
- After unwrapping gifts, immediately remove and dispose of plastic wrapping and packaging.
Remember, active supervision is vital to providing a fun and hazard-free environment. Simply being aware and informed can prevent critical injuries during play both indoors and outdoors. We hope these guidelines help you select the safest toys to make your holiday season a breeze!