Toy Buying Safety Tips November 8, 2017 With so many choices in gifts for children, it’s important to ensure that the toys or games you buy are safe for them. Here are some tips on what to look out for when shopping for toys this holiday season. Make Sure Toys are Age-Appropriate Taking the age of your children into consideration when purchasing toys for them not only makes it more likely that they’ll enjoy what you’ve bought—it can also be a safety factor. You want toys that are not only entertaining, but designed for your child’s developmental stage. Injuries can occur if a game or toy is not a right match for your child. Take a look at what to avoid for different age groups: Babies (Newborn to age 2): Crib safety is of utmost importance when selecting gifts for the tiniest ones. You want to buy toys that will not create the danger of entrapment or suffocation. Mobiles, crib gyms, or any other hanging object should be taken down when infants turn 5 months old or can push up or pull up on their own. Any toys with small, removable parts are not safe as well. Toddlers (ages 3 to 5): Avoid toys that have projectiles, sharp edges, pointed tips, or long strings. Playing with them could lead to injuries, possible blindness, and strangulation. Any toy with strings longer than six inches also should be avoided. Anything that spins at fast speeds, such as the popular fidget spinners, is developmentally inappropriate for children at this age. Lastly, make sure that all electric toys are UL Approved. Any toy that does not meet this world-recognized standard of safety may cause burns or shocks. Older Children (age 6 and up): For this age group, their inquisitive minds love to explore. Even though their imaginations are active, they are not ready for hobby kits and chemistry sets. These toys pose a possible risk of fires and explosions and even exposure to hazardous chemicals. Be mindful of your child’s hearing when purchasing games that have loud sound effects. It may result in hearing loss. Be Diligent in Checking for Safety Safety is always your main objective when you inspect the overall construction of your child’s gifts. You can find more advice on choosing safe toys from KidsHealth.org and stay up to date on the latest toy safety alerts at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission website. Now that you know important information on choosing the right toy for the right age, you should also consider these last few tips: Always carefully read the label and the instructions. Go online to check for recalls Read consumer reviews Show your child how to play with the toy or game Beware of toys sold online without accompanying warnings or recommendations With these toy-buying tips, we hope that you and your family will have a safe and enjoyable holiday season. If you have questions about any type of defective product that may have injured you or a loved one, please contact the product liability attorneys at Harrell & Harrell for a free consultation.