December is Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month

Give the gift of safety this holiday

Across the globe, cherished winter holidays are celebrated with the timeless tradition of gift-giving. From classic toys to the latest gaming tech, there are a lot of options available. Yet every year, thousands of children under the age of 14 are injured by toys. Explore these resources as you shop this holiday season and keep safety at the top of your mind as you spread holiday cheer!

10 Toy Buying Tips

Here are a few tips to help you choose safe and appropriate toys for your child.

1. Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way.

2. Think LARGE. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.

3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They can cause serious eye injuries or choking.

4. Avoid toys that are loud to prevent damage to your child’s hearing.

5. Look for stuffed toys that are well made. Make sure all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.

6. Buy plastic toys that are sturdy. Toys made from thin plastic may break easily.

7. Avoid toys with toxic materials that could cause poisoning​​​. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”

8. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.

9. Electric toys should be “UL Approved.” Check the label to be sure.

10. Be careful when buying crib toys. Soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation should be kept out of the crib. Any hanging crib toy (mobiles, crib gyms) should be out of the baby’s reach and must be removed when your baby first begins to push up on his or her hands and knees or when the baby is 5 months old, whichever occurs first. These toys can strangle a baby.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics

Additional Resources

Toy Buying Tips for Babies and Young Children |

Selecting Appropriate Toys for Young Children in the Digital Era | American Academy of Pediatrics

Holiday Gift and Toy Safety Checklist | American Academy of Ophthalmology | U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission | U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission