Not all toys are meant for all children! When buying a toy as a gift or giving one to your own child, always keep in mind the child’s interest, age and skill level.

Before you leave the store, read labels carefully. Be aware of labels such as “Not recommended for children under three” and “flame resistant/ flame retardant” when the toy includes fabric.

 

Top 5 Toy Hazards

1. Small Balls and other Toys with Small Parts:
Small parts can cause choking especially in children under three. You should check toys regularly to make sure that a part hasn’t become loose.

2. Balloons:
Remember, balloons don’t fall under the small parts ban. Children under eight years can easily choke or suffocate on broken or un-inflated balloons.

3. Magnets:
For children under the age of six, avoid building play sets with magnets. If magnets are swallowed serious injury or death could occur.

4. Chargers and Adapters:
Charging batteries should always be supervised. Chargers and adapters can pose a risk for thermal burn if not used correctly.

5. Scooters and Riding Toys:
Items such as skateboards and scooters can go fast especially in certain conditions. Always make your child wear a helmet that is sized to fit.

Toy Laws for Children under Three

The list of regulations for toys intended for children under 36 months of age is pretty simple. The Consumer Product Safety Commission mandates that all toys for this age group be free from small parts when received and after “use and abuse” testing. This excludes balloons, books clay, accessories, books and children’s clothing so watch out for safety hazards when using these items. The CPSC is also cracking down on lead and other toxins in toys and requires manufacturers to test their toys for chemicals.

Signup for Updates!

Go to Recalls.gov to recive recall updates to keep your family, neighbors and friends safe this holiday season. Also check out the CPSC website for more infomation about toy safety and guidelines.

About the Author

Dr. Katalenas

Dr. Katalenas is a pediatrician and owner of The Pediatric Center of Round Rock and the author of the book "The Step Up Diet: From Scratch… The Quality, Quantity, and Timing Solution to Childhood Obesity", a guide to healthy cooking and eating for busy families.