Tis the season for toys! Making it a perfect time to remind those shopping for children this season to heed the safety advice of experts. When purchasing toys for children, it is important to consider several safety factors. Toys should be age-appropriate, well-constructed, durable, and suited for each particular child’s physical, mental and social capabilities.
U.S. Toy Safety Regulations
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets mandatory toy safety regulations, as follows:
- Electrical toys shouldn’t have shock or thermal hazards.
- Toys shouldn’t contain toxic materials.
- Toy paint should not contain traces of lead.
- Art materials used by children under 12 should be non-hazardous.
- Latex toys, games and balloons must contain warning labels regarding the choking and suffocation hazards.
Ages 3 to 6
- All toys and games with small parts must be labeled to warn of the choking hazards.
- All toys and games with balls less than 1.75 inches diameter must be labeled to warn of choking hazards.
- All toys and games with marbles must be labeled for choking hazards.
Under Age 8
- Electrically operated toys shouldn’t have heating elements.
- No toys should have sharp points or edges.
Tips for Parents & Gift Givers
Those gifting toys to children this season can take a number of steps to help reduce a child’s risk for toy-related injuries:
- Make sure to refer to age and safety labels.
- Keep deflated balloons and broken balloon pieces away from children.
- Keep objects that can easily fit into a child’s mouth out of reach.
- Consider removing or safely storing items that uses button batteries.
- Read all toy warnings and instructions.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods and dangerous edges.
- Repair or replace any damaged or defective toys.
- Supervise children’s craft projects, as scissors and glue are among the most dangerous products for children.