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Choosing Safe Toys During the Holiday Season

Choosing Safe Toys During the Holiday Season

The holiday season is truly magical, especially when children excitedly unwrap their Christmas gifts. At Physicians Premier, we recognize not just the joy and excitement that toys bring to children, but also their essential role in child development. Toys enhance motor skills and learning. But it’s important to focus on ‘safe toys‘ – those that are age-appropriate and risk-free – to avoid any mishaps. This ensures a fun and secure holiday experience for everyone.

Read on for our guide.

Understanding Toy Safety

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) plays a key role in monitoring and regulating toys in the United States. Their recent report highlights the importance of choosing toys that comply with safety standards. These standards are in place to ensure that children’s playtime is both fun and secure.

CPSC’s Toy Safety Guidelines

Since 1995, the CPSC has set forth comprehensive safety standards for toys. Any toy manufactured or imported into the country must adhere to these guidelines. These include:

  • Age-appropriate labeling – Ensure the toy is suitable for your child’s age group.
  • Non-toxic materials – Toys should be made from safe, non-hazardous materials.
  • Choking hazard warnings – Small parts should be clearly labeled to prevent choking risks for young children.
  • Sturdy construction – Durable toys prevent breakage, reducing the risk of sharp edges.
  • Safe batteries – Battery-operated toys should have secure battery compartments to prevent risks of leakage or ingestion.
  • Toy fabric – Ensure the material of the toy is flame-resistant or flame-retardant.
  • Toy paint – The paint on toys should be lead-free for safety.
  • Washable stuffed toys – Stuffed toys and dolls must be washable to maintain hygiene.
  • Safe art supplies – Look for non-toxic labels on art supplies like crayons and colors. They should also have “ASTM D-4236” marked on the package, indicating they have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

When choosing toys for children, keep these guidelines in mind:

  • Age-appropriate toys – Ensure the toy matches your child’s age, abilities, and interests. Always check the manufacturer’s age recommendation on the label. If it’s not suitable for your child’s age, it’s best to choose another toy.
  • Size of the toy – Toys should be big enough to not be a choking hazard. Avoid toys with small parts, especially if they are smaller than 1¼ inches in diameter and 2¼ inches in length.
  • Choking hazards – Be cautious with toys like marbles or games that include small pieces like coins, chips, or small balls. These should not be less than 1.75 inches in diameter to prevent choking risks.
  • Battery safety in toys – For battery-operated toys, particularly for toddlers, make sure the battery compartment is secured with screws. This prevents children from accessing and potentially swallowing batteries, which can be very dangerous.
  • Safety gear for riding toys – If you’re gifting bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates, also consider the necessary safety equipment. This includes helmets, as well as hand, wrist, and shin guards for extra protection.

When to Seek ER Care for Toy-Related Injuries

Despite our best efforts, accidents can happen. If a child experiences the following after playing with a toy, it’s time to visit the ER:

  • Choking or difficulty breathing due to small parts.
  • Cuts or lacerations from broken toys.
  • Allergic reactions to toy materials.
  • Swallowing batteries or other small components.

Have a Safe Holiday Season

This holiday season, prioritize safety in your gift choices. Look for toys that are not only fun but also align with the CPSC’s safety guidelines. Remember, the best gift you can give is the well-being and safety of your loved ones.

In case of a medical emergency, don’t worry. All our facilities at Physicians Premier offer pediatric emergency care. We are committed to ensuring the health and safety of your little ones and will be open 24/7 during the holidays.

By choosing safe toys and being vigilant about playtime, you can ensure a happy and injury-free holiday season for your children.


“Think Toy Safety,” United States Consumer Product Safety Commission,
“Toy-Related Injuries: Appropriate Toys for Different Ages,” Physicians Premier,
“Toy Safety,” Nationwide Children’s Hospital,