Holiday Toy Safety Info

Every year popular new toys come out that kids are excited about – some of them are pretty neat actually, but others can be quite dangerous. One thing that doesn’t change year to year, is that we must continue to pay close attention to the safety of any new toys we purchase, or that our children receive from others. (While most toys are considered safe, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than 180,000 toy-related injuries that were treated in hospitals in 2010.)

Some simple, basic rules to follow when purchasing toys for any child:

- Keep toys age and interest appropriate, and pay attention to the age suitable information on the package. It’s there for safety reasons.

- Avoid toys with loud noises. They can be exciting and fun, but damaging to young eardrums (as well as frighten younger children or household pets).

- Avoid any toy with chords, strings or straps longer than 7″ since this is long enough to wrap around a child’s neck and cause choking.

- Don’t buy any toys with lead paint – there are NO safe levels of lead in the human body, child or adult.

- Don’t buy toys with small parts for children up to age 5.

- Know where toys are made. Be mindful about purchasing toys from China since their manufacturing standards are not as rigid as they are in the U.S. Also, the lead factor is higher from toys made in China.

- Batteries and magnets are extremely dangerous if swallowed, and can cause immediate damage to the esophagus and stomach lining. (NOTE: Any child swallowing a battery or magnet should be taken to the hospital immediately, don’t wait for it to pass through their stool.)

- No BB guns! Enough said really – they can cause bodily harm in a number of ways.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission has an informative website:

Safety and Recall Info

What are great toy choices to purchase then? A couple of sites that I like:

Best Green Toys Guide – All kinds of options for kids of all ages

Raising Natural Kids – All kinds of information regarding green/natural toy sites

When I shop for kids I find that many of the things that I use to get as gifts when I was young still work for modern-day children as well. Books, games (even if they’re the iTunes App versions), makeup in small purses, clothes, trains, trucks, or even taking the child on their own shopping spree. Kids LOVE this – getting to pick their own gift as well as spending time with you.

There’s plenty of ways to be creative and fun and have a child adore what you give them, and, you can be kind to the planet and buy green at the same time.