Supervision is an important factor in keeping children safe from toy-related injury. Getting involved in your child’s play, rather than supervising from a distance, provides the opportunity for you to watch more closely. Children love adults to participate in their games.
Other ways to protect your family:
- When selecting toys, consider the child’s age, interests and skill level. Look for quality design and construction, and follow age and safety recommendations on labels.
- Inspect toys regularly for damage and potential hazards such as sharp edges. Make any necessary repairs immediately, or discard damaged toys out of children’s reach.
- Consider purchasing a small parts tester to determine whether small toys may present a choking hazard to children under age 3. Small parts testers can be purchased at
toyor baby specialty stores.
- Toys are frequently recalled for safety reasons. Check the National
SAFEKIDSCampaign Web site for updates and information on recent toy recalls.
Eliminate potential hazards:
- Use mylar balloons instead of latex to eliminate the risk of choking. If you must use latex balloons, store them out of children’s reach, do not allow children to inflate them, and deflate and discard balloons and balloon pieces after use.
- Avoid toys with sharp points or edges, toys that produce loud noises, and projectiles (such as darts).
- Toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches can unintentionally strangle children and should be avoided.
- Electrical toys are a potential burn hazard. Avoid toys with a heating element – batteries, electrical plugs — for children under age 8.
- Toy cap guns use caps that can be ignited by the slightest friction and cause serious burns.
Teach your child safety:
- Ensure that toys are used in a safe environment. Riding toys should not be used near stairs, traffic or swimming pools.
- Teach children to put toys away safely after playing. Safe storage prevents falls and other injuries. Toys for older children can be dangerous in the hands of a young child and should be stored separately.
- Use gifts of bicycles, inline skates, scooters and skateboards as opportunities to teach your children about safe riding. Make the appropriate safety gear (helmets, retroreflective clothing or stickers, horns and bells, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads) part of your gift.