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If you’re shopping for last minute toys this holiday season, keep your children’s safety in mind.

Tips For Buying Safe Toys

The holiday season is here, and many people will be buying toys for children. It’s a nice idea to get children something they like, but it’s more important to buy gifts that are safe, and age-appropriate.

Before you go shopping, check a list of recalled toys. These are toys that don’t meet the safety standards published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check this online list of recalled toys (see the section marked “toys”) or you can call 1-800- 638- 2772 to get the list.

Consider the child’s age

When buying toys for children, remember to consider their age and abilities.

  • Make sure to buy a toy that’s age appropriate. Generally, the recommended age range is printed on the package or in the instruction manual like this: 5-6 years or +5 years.
  • If the child you’re shopping for is under 8 years old, avoid buying toys with sharp points or toys that shoot. These types of toys can cause serious injuries.
  • Separate toys that belong to older children and store them where small children can’t reach them.

Take additional safety measures

  • Read product labels to make sure toys or items around the house do not contain lead. This harmful substance can affect a child’s health, even if only a small amount is inhaled or swallowed.
  • Don’t buy toys with parts that can be removed, like a doll’s eyes, buttons, coins, etc. A child can choke if they swallow these small toy parts.
  • When buying a battery-operated toy, make sure the battery compartment can’t be opened by a child. Avoid toys that have to be plugged in or that use electrical wires.
  • When a child opens a toy, immediately throw away packaging, including plastic wrappers, boxes, string or other packaging. Children can accidentally choke or harm themselves if they play with them.

Read this note in Spanish.

Image description: U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers and Consumer Product Safety Commission investigators have seized more than 200,000 toy dolls arriving from China due to the high levels of phthalates, a group of banned chemicals compounds.

A total of 10 shipments valued at nearly $500,000 were seized at the ports of Chicago, Dallas, Los Angles, Norfolk, Memphis, Newark, Portland and Savannah.

Photo by James Tourtellotte, U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Holiday Tip of the Day: Buy Safe Toys

As the holidays approach and toy catalogs arrive in the mail, shoppers can become overwhelmed with all the choices. To keep kids safe, make sure to choose age appropriate toys and look for labels with safety advice. For young children, avoid toys with small parts, sharp edges, and electric toys that can heat up. Always purchase safety gear in addition to sports-related gifts or ride-on toys, such as bicycles or skateboards. Learn more about how to buy safe toys.

Did you miss yesterday’s tip? Get more holiday tips.