Don't grant your kids' wishes for the newest, coolest toys until you know they're safe. With new product recalls almost daily, choosing safe and healthy toys can be a daunting task. Before you buy, double check that the toy you're considering meets our safe shopping guidelines.
It's essential to adhere to the age guidelines indicated on toy packaging—because even a toy for a 3-year-old could have parts too small for a 2-year-old to handle properly.
If you're not sure, consider the toilet paper tube test—anything that can pass through the tube is too small to be given to a child under 3 years old. Marbles, coins and balls are common culprits. Also, make sure that any buttons, eyes and noses are tightly secured.
Little kids love to chew their toys, so avoid any toys that have small pieces that can be easily gnawed off.
For young children, avoid these toys or remove the strings to prevent strangulation.
Check to make sure the toy has a non-toxic, durable finish.
Look for points, edges or breakable parts that could be sharp and avoid those toys for kids under eight. If you're considering a ride-on, is it sturdy and stable, and does the recipient have all the proper safety equipment (helmet, kneepads, etc.) required to use it?
Building sets, action figures, puzzles or dolls containing small, powerful magnets can be fatal if they are swallowed by children.
Fabric toys should be labeled as flame retardant or flame resistant. And electrical toys with batteries or electric plugs pose a burn hazard so they should be avoided for kids under eight.
It's best to avoid these toys because they can cause injuries, especially to the eyes.