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Toy Safety Shopping Guide

Each year over 170,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries related to toys. Many of the injuries came from children choking on small parts or swallowing harmful pieces.

Toy Safety Shopping Guide

Each year over 170,000 children are treated in hospital emergency departments for injuries related to toys. Many of the injuries came from children choking on small parts or swallowing harmful pieces. To prevent serious injuries, parents should make safety a priority when buying toys.

CHOKING HAZARDS

  • Small toys and toys with small parts can be choking hazards.
  • To check if a part is too small for young children, buy a small parts test device at any toy store. If the part can fit completely in the tube, it is too small.
  • Avoid marbles, balls and games with ball-shaped objects less than 1.75 inches in diameter.
  • Uninflated or broken balloons are choking hazards.

MAGENETS

  • Magnets can be very dangerous if swallowed or breathed in.
  • If 2 or more magnets are swallowed, they can attract to each other inside the body causing serious problems.
  • Parents should seek immediate help if they think their child has swallowed a magnet.

LEAD

  • Be aware of the danger of lead in toys.
  • If you are worried about your child’s lead exposure, talk to your child’s doctor.

RIDING TOYS

  • Bicycles, scooters, skateboards and skates can be great gifts, but falls can cause serious injuries.
  • Make sure to buy protective gear, including a well-fitting helmet, with all riding toys.

TOY SAFETY TIPS

  • Read the age recommendations on toy labels to figure out if it is right for a child’s age and abilities.
  • Toys that are too hard or too easy can be misused and lead to injuries.
  • Keep older siblings’ toys away from younger children.
  • Avoid toys with long strings or cords. These can wrap around a child’s neck.
  • Do not buy toys with sharp edges or points for young children.
  • Look for toys that will not easily break.
  • Keep up-to-date with recalls of toys that you give or receive at www.recalls.gov.

CHILDREN YOUNGER THAN 1 YEAR OLD

  • Avoid magnets and small toys that can be choking hazards.
  • Keep in mind that baby walkers can lead to serious injuries. Try a stationary activity center instead.
  • Good choices for gifts include: rattles, soft dolls or stuffed animals (without any small parts), large blocks, board books, bath toys and teething toys.

CHILDREN 1 TO 3 YEARS OLD

  • Avoid magnets and small toys that can be choking hazards.
  • Do not allow young children to play with very loud toys.
  • Good choices for gifts include: nesting and stacking toys, blocks, board books, large balls, push and pull toys, simple puzzles, musical toys, baby dolls or stuffed animals (without any small parts), shape sorters and tricycles.

CHILDREN 4 TO 5 YEARS OLD

  • Avoid magnets and toys that may break easily into small pieces or leave jagged edges.
  • Be sure art supplies are marked “non-toxic” and scissors have blunt tips.
  • Good choices for gifts include: art supplies, books, outdoor toys, blocks, dress-up clothes, doctor kits, bicycles, toy kitchen sets, puzzles, action figures, dolls and toy cars.

CHILDREN 6 TO 15 YEARS OLD

  • Hobby kits and chemistry sets should not be used by children younger than 12, and children 12 to 15 should always be supervised.
  • BB guns, pellet guns, air rifles and paintball guns are NOT toys and can cause serious injury.
  • Good choices for gifts include: board games, books, musical instruments, sports equipment, skates, scooters, bicycles, puzzles, computer games and CD players.

 

Content provided by the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children’s