Keep Our Families Safe

A Guide to Toy Safety for the Holidays

This holiday season, make your list and check it twice for gadgets and gizmos that could harm your child.
 
A good resource for parents and care givers who are preparing to shop for children’s presents is the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). The web site (·         Product labels: Manufacturers must meet certain safety standards and they must label toys that could be hazardous for younger children. Check all packages for age recommendations.
 
Loud noises: Toy caps and noise-making toys can damage hearing. Check packaging for information regarding noise level of product.
 
Cords and strings: Toys with long cords and strings may be dangerous for young children and infants. Never hang toys with long strings, cords, loops, or ribbons in cribs or playpens where children can become entangled. Remove crib gyms from cribs when children can pull up on hands and knees. Some children have strangled after having fallen across crib gyms that were stretched across their cribs.
 
Propelled objects: Projectile and flying toys can become weapons when improperly used. Eyes are particularly vulnerable. Children should never play with lawn darts or other objects or equipment with sharp points. All arrows or darts should have soft cork tips or rubber suction cups to prevent injury. Check these toys often to make sure tips are secure. Avoid dart guns – they can fire other objects, such as nails or pencils that were not intended for the toy.
 
 Electric toys: Electric toys must meet mandatory requirements for maximum surface temperatures, electrical construction and prominent warning labels. Electric toys with heating elements are recommended for children over eight years old. Adults should supervise use of electric toys.
 
With these tips in mind, and others you may find from the CPSC or the National SAFE KIDS Campaign (at or (202) 662-0600), you and your family can enjoy a safe holiday season.