We are officially in the holiday shopping season.  If you are buying toys for kids, there are some things you should know.  In 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission issued 25 toy recalls, way down from 172 in 2008, so that is good news. Even with a decline in recalls, more than 100,000 kids suffer toy-related injuries every year.   When buying toys for kids, pay close attention to the age recommendation and other safety labels.  Remember that even if you get a toy that is safe for an older kid, it might have sharp points or small pieces that could be dangerous to a younger sibling. We want the kids to enjoy the toys we give them and it is our responsibility to make sure they are safe for them.  Here are the top safety tips for buying holiday toys. 

  • 1

    No Strings Attached

    Keep toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind away from cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled which can cause injury or death.

  • 2

    Read the Label

    Observe age recommendations on toys and choose one not just according to a child’s age, but their maturity level. Every child is different.  Also, pay attention to safety labels such as “Flame retardant/flame resistant” or “Washable/Hygienic materials” on dolls and other stuffed toys.

  • 3

    Avoid Choking Hazards

    Don’t give young children any toys with small parts such as removable noses or eyes since they can be choking hazards.  Inspect all toys for broken edges or sharp pieces before giving to a child.

  • 4

    Teach the Older Kids

    Teach older children to keep their toys that may have removable small parts, sharp points or toys that run on electricity away from younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren’t appropriate for them.  Teach kids to put toys away when they are done.

  • 5

    Inspect Toys Periodically

    Provide a safe hazard-free play environment both indoors and outdoors. Toys get used and abused by children so check them periodically to make sure they are safe, durable and unbroken.