Thank you The Toy Association for sponsoring this post. Keeping kids safe while they play is the #1 priority for The Toy Association and its members.
Finding the perfect holiday toys is always exciting. With new toy trends emerging that offer such a great variety of toys to kids of all ages, it is important to be aware of some safety issues before making your holiday purchases this year. These toy safety tips will help you keep your family safe this holiday season while enjoying some fantastic toys with your kids.
There are some great toys out there this holiday season and I love finding the perfect toys for my kids each year. As a parent, it is so important to keep in mind your child’s age and interests as you shop.
Following these toy safety tips can help be sure that you are purchasing toys that are safe for your kids.
Check the Age Grading of a Toy.
Every toy on the market has a recommended age marked on the package. The Toy Association recently surveyed 1000 U.S. parents (conducted by Wakefield Research) and found that 96% of parents felt that their child could play with a toy even if they were younger than what the age label recommends. This is shocking!
One of the hottest trends this year (thanks to YouTube videos, at least in my house) is “unboxing” toys where you unpackage surprise toys. There is no way to see what kind of toys are tucked away within the layers and these toys generally include very small parts, making it especially important to stick to the age recommendations on the label.
The age grading is based on safety and is the result of extensive research and testing. It is so important to abide by that recommendation. It is not an indication of how smart your child is if he is not able to play with a toy recommended for an older child. This is one situation where it is so important to trust the experts.
Beware of Cheap Alternatives
This time of year it is very common for fake toys to pop up for sale, especially with parents looking for popular franchise toys from The Lion King or Star Wars. We are all looking for great deals but be careful that you don’t sacrifice safety in the process. Cheaper toy alternatives sold by illegitimate sellers may have safety hazards that you cannot see. It is important to buy from reputable sellers so that you know each toy is tested for compliance with the U.S.’s strict toy safety standards.
As a mom of 6, I’m generally a fan of buying higher quality toys that I know will last and that I’m confident will be safe for my kids to play with for years to come.
Keep Toys with Small Parts Out of Reach.
Having kids in different stages can be challenging, especially when you have a younger child who still puts toys in his mouth. Keep older children’s toys out of reach of younger siblings. I use sealed containers for toys with small parts and keep them on a shelf that is out of my kids’ reach. I prefer to have these toys out of reach of my older children as well because otherwise, they will get them out when I’m not aware and put younger siblings at risk. Having toys up high where I have to pull them down keeps me aware of what I need to watch for.
Research Online Sellers.
As someone who does most of my holiday shopping online, I get how much easier it can make things during the already busy holiday season. You do have to be aware that even major online marketplaces have a problem with counterfeit toys. Counterfeit toys are often unsafe so it is important to do your research on the seller before purchasing. Research the seller’s history and read reviews carefully before making a purchase. I’d recommend inspecting the toy thoroughly when it arrives so that you know it is safe before giving it to your child.
Proper supervision is so important, especially when your child is playing with a new toy. Take the opportunity to get down on the floor and play with your child. You’ll make some great memories with your child and you’ll be able to teach your child how to play safely.
Avoid Playing with Things that Are Not Toys
Kids will turn anything into a toy. Use caution when allowing your child to play with items that are not toys because they have not been tested for safety. This is especially true for items that may include powerful magnets or button cell batteries such as office puzzles, watches, etc. because they pose serious risks to children.
This holiday season should be filled with great memories and fun times with your family. Learn more about how you can keep your children safe this holiday season by visiting PlaySafe.org, The Toy Association’s free resource for parents and caregivers.