When purchasing toys for children, it is important to consider several safety factors. Toys should be appealing and interesting to a child, age-appropriate, well-constructed, durable and suited for that particular child’s physical, mental and social capabilities.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) sets mandatory toy safety regulations, as follows:
Electrical toys should have no shock or thermal hazards.
Toys should not contain toxic materials in or on them.
Toy paint should not contain traces of lead.
Art materials used by children under 12 should be non-hazardous.
Latex toys, games and balloons must contain warning labels regarding the choking and suffocation hazards.
Ages 3 to 6
All toys and games with small parts must be labeled to warn of the choking hazards.
All toys and games with balls less than 1.75 inches diameter must be labeled to warn of choking hazards.
All toys and games with marbles must be labeled for choking hazards.
Under Age 8
Electrically operated toys should not have heating elements.
No toys should have sharp points or edges.
Tips for Parents
Parents can take a number of steps to help reduce their child’s risk for toy-related injuries:
Make sure to refer to age and safety labels.
Keep deflated balloons and broken balloon pieces away from children.
Keep objects that can easily fit into a child’s mouth out of reach.
Read all toy warnings and instructions.
Keep a child’s ability in mind, rather than age, when purchasing toys.
Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods and dangerous edges.
Repair or replace any damaged or defective toys.
Supervise children’s craft projects, as scissors and glue are among the most dangerous products.
You can report a dangerous toy. If you think a toy or product is hazardous, contact the CPSC at 800-638-2772 or www.cpsc.gov.