Choosing New Toys
Children love to play! Using safe toys helps keep your child safe. When choosing new toys, read labels and packaging to be sure:
- Fabric toys are flame resistant or flame retardant.
- Stuffed toys are washable.
- Painted toys are made with lead-free paint.
- Art materials (such as glue or paint) are nontoxic.
- Crayons and paint packaging have the phrase ASTM D-4236, which shows that the toy has been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
Two more tips for toy safety:
- Protect your child’s hearing by choosing toys that aren’t too loud.
- Offer “screen free zones”, which include no screen time for children 0 to 2 years old.
Many toys come with suggestions for how old a child should be to play with them.
These guidelines can help you understand:
- If your child is ready for the toy (e.g., puzzles with many pieces).
- If the toy is safe for your child (e.g., toys with parts that could be swallowed)
Guidelines for finding good toys for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers:
- Toys should be large enough (about 1¼ inches by 2¼ inches) to prevent choking.
- Avoid marbles, coins, balls, and games with balls that are small.
- Battery-operated toys should have protected battery cases that children can’t open on their own.
- Toys should be strong and unbreakable.
- Riding toys have specific instructions. Be sure children follow them carefully.
- Free toys, or toys sold at fairs and carnivals, may not meet safety standards. Check them for safety before sharing them with your child.