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Safe Toys

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States. 72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets. 

When it comes to toys and gifts, the excitement and desire to get your children their favorite toys may cause caregivers to forget about safety factors associated with them. Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age appropriateness of the toys. Prior to purchasing any toy or gift for a child, take a few moments to review the tips below from U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Safe Toy Tips

  • Inspect all toys before purchasing, as well as those received as a gift. Check each carefully to see if they meet recommended or suggested age on packaging, child's skill level, and developmental appropriateness before introducing them to your child;
  • Try to skip toys with sharp edges or points, toys that shoot or include small parts that come off, as these present higher risk of being swallowed;
  • Avoid toys with easy access to magnets and “button” batteries, which can cause serious injury or death if ingested;
  • Seek toys durable enough to withstand the curious energy of an exploring tot, without breaking, cracking, or being pulled apart easily;
  • When purchasing toys for special needs youngsters, consider toys that appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture, interactive toys and games, those that allow the child to play with others, and the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it;
  • When possible, inspect toys for labels that assure the toys have passed a safety inspection. For example, an “ATSM” label indicates the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards;
  • Be sure to purchase helmets, knee and elbow pad, or other protective gear to compliment gifts such as tricycles or other sporting equipment;
  • Know the dangers of lead exposure from older toys, or toys built in other countries. Always consult your pediatrician or healthcare provider for more information regarding children and lead safety;
  • Avoid toys with ropes, cords, or heating elements;
  • Make sure all drawing instruments such as crayons or markers are labeled “nontoxic." Disposing of, or properly store markers, ink pens or other potentially toxic items.

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The information and reference materials contained on this page are intended solely for the general information of the reader. It is not to be used for treatment purposes, but rather for discussion with the user’s own physician and/or healthcare or social service provider(s). The information presented here is not intended to diagnose health problems or to take the place of professional medical care. The information contained herein is neither intended to dictate what constitutes reasonable, appropriate or best care for any given health issue, nor is it intended to be used as a substitute for the independent judgment of a physician for any given health issue. If you have further questions regarding the information on this page, or if you are experiencing health problems related to this information, please consult your health care provider at once.