Making children smile with a new toy brings a lot of joy to parents and relatives during the holidays, on birthdays and for those “just because” occasions. Although toys are designed for play, not all of them are safe for children depending on their ages and developmental progression. Review the following guidance to select safe toys for your kids and young relatives.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission requires toy manufacturers to meet specific safety standards and label products according to these specifications.
Here are some suggestions of toys to avoid for children of various ages.
Under 3 Years:
- Toys with small parts that are 1.75 inches or less in size, as these items can be easily swallowed or inserted into noses and ears
- Toys with ribbons and straps that can strangle children or toys with sharp edges and points
- Toys made of plastic that can easily break into smaller pieces
- Toxic art supplies that are not designed for use by children
- Toys that can break or that possess potential hazards
- Toys that are too dangerous for children to operate, such as a BB gun or slingshot
Fortunately for consumers, toy manufacturers design product labels to reduce the guesswork for adults when they are trying to purchase a safe toy. Though all kids develop at their own unique pace, there are certain stages of development that toy designers can roughly predict and use create their products accordingly. That being said, always read the toy label before making your purchase.