Disclosure:: This post is sponsored by Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital and authored by Lauren Bailey, MD.
Picking Safe Toys for Christmas
You don’t need life hacks to figure this one out. Simple tips can help make Christmas memorable, fun and safe.
“You’ll put your eye out, kid!” Of course, our concerns over the types of toys our little ones want for Christmas did not start with this famous line from a classic Christmas movie. Still, it embodies the sheer anxiety many parents feel when they get a glimpse at their child’s Christmas list.
Toys are meant to be fun and safe.
Many are designed to spark imagination and assist with many developmental skills like fine motor and problem-solving. Buying toys to put under the tree for our little ones should be a fun and exciting adventure. However, with new toys coming onto the market by the dozens, finding a fun but safe toy can be a daunting task.
No parent wants sad, disappointed faces on Christmas morning.
To be honest, no one wants to visit the emergency room on Christmas, either. Before you max out your credit card buying the perfect presents, here are some tips that may help you decide if the toys on your little one’s list and not only meet their expectations to have fun, but also meet your safety expectations.
- Does the toy have lead-free paint?
- Are the stuffed or plush toys washable?
- Does the toy have small, removable parts or other choking hazards?
- Are toys with fabric parts flame retardant or flame-resistant?
- Does the toy have parts that can be shot or projected?
- Are the paints, crayons and other arts and crafts components non-toxic?
- Does the toy make a loud, shrilly noise that could damage hearing?
- Are there electric heating elements?
- Does it have any sharp points or holes where a finger can get lodged?
Before making any purchase, be sure to read the warning label. It may contain information about the toy you didn’t consider initially that may affect your decision. While there, look for the acronym “ATSM,” which means the product meets national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing Materials. It may be a good idea to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission web site, CPSC.com, to review recalled toys and recall alerts.
Also, toys include age ranges on the packaging.
This is a great guide to help ensure the toy is right for your child. While your little one may be able to handle toys designed for older children, age levels are set by the safety standards, not a child’s intelligence or ability. Put simply, your child may be able to play with it and have fun doing so, but it may not be the safe choice until the child is a little older.
Hand-me-downs are a great way to be thrifty. Who doesn’t remember getting big sister’s dolls or older brother’s action figures? But, older toys were created before today’s safety standards. Also, they may be worn from years of play and have edges that can cut, seams that unravel, inner parts exposed, etc.
So, you did your research.
You made wise choices. Chalk up another Christmas morning to “Mom and Dad win.” The work is over, right? Not really. It’s also important to teach children a few more lessons to ensure safety:
- Show your children how to properly use the toy.
- Teach them to put toys away in a toy bin or box to prevent any slips, trips or falls that could lead to you spending a day of holiday cheer in the emergency room.
- Advise older children to be aware of younger children around while playing with toys that could pose a choking or other hazard.
- Check wooden toys for splinters as they age.
- Be sure used toys do not have ripped seams or inner parts exposed.
- Toss broken toys or safely repair them.
With these simple tips in mind, you should have a blessed, memorable and a very Merry Christmas.
To Learn More about Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s and Children’s Hospital visit::
About Dr. Lauren Bailey
– Dr. Lauren Bailey is a board-certified pediatrician with Our Lady of Lourdes Women’s & Children’s Hospital. Discover more at LourdesPhysicianGroup.com.