Baby lying down How to Buy Safe Toys as Gifts This Holiday Season

How to Buy Safe Toys as Gifts This Holiday Season

Concerned about giving safe toys as gifts to your kids this year? Here’s what you should know.

It’s that time of year again! As we prepare to celebrate the most wonderful time of the year with our families, it is critical that we—as parents—understand that what we decide to purchase for our children impacts their lives.

You have probably noticed the recommended ages on toy packaging. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has it’s own recommendations for parents to follow, so if you are concerned whether the gifts you have in mind for your child are appropriate, consider consulting their advice.

Here are some other recommendations based on age for buying safe toys as gifts for your kids.

For Babies and Toddlers, Ages 0 – 3

Babies and toddlers need toys to stimulate their development, but many toys on the market can be hazardous to their safety and health. This year, be sure to follow these guidelines when purchasing toys for children three years old and younger:

  • Ensure that there are no small parts included with the toys. Small parts, such as batteries and other detachable pieces, are choking hazards. If any parts of a toy detach, make sure that they are larger than your child’s mouth.
  • Sharp edges are dangerous, even during supervised play. Toys that have sharp edges or strings that may hurt a child should be avoided.
  • Even if a toy is larger than your child’s mouth, it is important that it will not break into smaller pieces easily.
  • Avoid toys that contain hazardous or toxic materials, such as PVC or lead-based paint. Look for a “non-toxic” label before purchasing.
  • If you buy a stuffed animal for your child, make sure it is washable. Young children like to chew on soft materials, which can lead to bacteria growth.
  • If a toy makes noise, be sure that it is not too loud for a child’s developing hearing.

Care needs to be taken when purchasing toys for small, young children. If you have any questions about a toy’s appropriateness for your baby or toddler, do not hesitate to contact me.

For Children Older Than 3

For children older than three, you should still practice caution, but use discretion when deciding whether your child is ready for a certain toy. In addition to the guidelines above, consider these safety precautions:

  • Do not allow your child to use toys connected to an outlet.
  • Toys that shoot objects into the air may cause eye injuries. Practice caution.
  • For toys that increase the likelihood of falls, such as bikes and scooters, always make sure your child has protective equipment on before riding. Helmets and knee pads could prevent a serious injury.
  • If you decide to give your child an electronic device with a screen, like a tablet or laptop, make sure that you supervise their use. You should also limit their time to one hour for children under five.

Buy Only Safe Toys as Gifts This Year

Now that you know what to look out for, it’s time to get shopping. What will you get for your child this year?

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with me. Need to set up an appointment? Click here.