As a parent, I’ve seen my share of “dangerous” toys for infants and toddlers. Many toys marked safe for kiddos actually present choking hazards — a huge problem for my kids who insisted on putting everything in their mouths despite my best efforts. And even though some toys were noted as age appropriate, they really weren’t for my kids.
This Christmas, with a little bit of know-how, you can easily vet out toys that may present a danger to your kiddo and make smart toy decisions.
General Toy Safety Checks:
☐ Always check the recommended age range on toy packaging
☐ Remember all children develop at different rates – your child may be old enough but may still need supervision
☐ Check toy recall lists regularly (see the CPSC – http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Recalls/)
☐ Don’t hesitate to report a toy if you ever discover a safety problem with it
☐ Always avoid toys made with lead paint – now banned, but can still be found in second hand toys or foreign toys
Avoid These Toxic Substances:
☐ Lead paint – safety standards are in place, but some paint still contains lead
☐ Phthalates – now illegal in the US, but can be found in rubber ducks & balls
☐ BPA – avoid plastics number 3, 6 and 7
For Infants, Always Avoid:
☐ Toys with small parts that babies could choke on
☐ Toys with sharp edges
☐ Toys made using glass
☐ Attached parts that could be pulled off (e.g. an eye on a stuffed animal)
☐ Toxic materials (babies love explore by putting things in their mouths)
☐ Toys with string/ ribbon that could get caught around your baby’s neck
☐ Toys with slots, hinges or holes that could trap your baby’s fingers
☐ Toys filled with beans or other objects that could spill out and choke your baby
Rule of Thumb: All toys should withstand being put in your baby’s mouth!
Checking a toy in person can let you know that it’s suitable – check to see whether any sewed on parts are secure or could be pulled off by your child.