December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month
this calls for us to talk about what you should be looking for in your children’s toys this holiday season, to ensure a happy and SAFE holiday for all!
Christmas morning is a time to savor the priceless reactions on kids’ faces, have a hot cup of coffee, and check to ensure Santa and his reindeer ate all of the goodies that were left behind from the night before. One of the most cherished traditions around the holiday season is gift exchange, and this is especially true for children. But, when you’re shopping for toys this year, as well as inspecting the gifts your children receive as well as the ones that you give away to other kiddos, it’s important to inspect them to make sure they are safe for kids to play with.
Provided are some tips that even Santa can’t argue with:
- Make sure to dispose of gift wrapping paper to ensure there isn’t a suffocation or choking hazard
- Read all of the warning labels on the packaging, paying special attention to the age guidelines, as these are carefully curated for the size of the parts, level of skill needed to use toy properly, and fine motor skills
- Think LARGE, in order to prevent buying toys that could be choked on
- Be sure to show your little one how to use the toy
- Avoid toys with toxic materials that could lead to poisoning – make sure to call the poison control hotline if needed
- Check for protocols especially on popular toys at cpsc.gov
- Ask yourself if the toys that you are giving suit the age and individual skills of the child who will receive it
- Avoid toys with sharp edges and ones that objects fly out, to avoid penetrating an eye or receiving a wound from the edges
- When purchasing toys for children with special needs consider toys that appeal to different senses and consider interactive toys that have a learning component
- Painted toys should use lead free paint
- Stuffed animals should be able to be machine washed to prevent the spread of illness
- Looks for toys that have been inspected by the American Society for Testing and Materials standards; and even play with the toy before your child does if you are able to
Spread the word surrounding safe and healthy toys this holiday season! Even the best parents may not understand all of the important criteria that serves as a guidelines on what to choose when giving gifts. Follow these tips and your whole family is sure to have a jolly holiday, without worrying about injury or illness caused from toys that were meant to provoke joy!