The winter holidays are a time when many people are buying new toys. The options seem limitless with so many new toys hitting the shelves each year. Even the most fun toys can pose danger if not used, stored, or handled properly. The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission reported approximately 166,200 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries in children younger than 15 in 2018. Choosing the right toy can be challenging as many shoppers rely on online shopping, which doesn’t allow you to touch and feel toys to inspect for small parts.
Consider the following when evaluating what toys to buy this year:
- Follow age and safety recommendations on labels.
- Avoid toys with strings, straps, or cords longer than seven inches, as they may pose a risk of strangulation.
- Avoid toys with sharp points or edges.
- Inspect all toys once you have opened to make sure there are no small parts that could pose a choking risk.
- Look for quality construction. Toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.
- If you buy a bicycle, purchase an appropriately sized helmet to go along with it.
- Make recommendations to family members and friends about gifts you feel are appropriate for your child.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) oversees the safety of toys and many other consumer products and requires toy manufacturers to meet stringent safety standards. For more information about purchasing safe toys and gifts, call the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission Hot Line at (800) 638-2772.