‘Tis The Season for Toy Safety

Every holiday season, we look forward to exchanging gifts with loved ones and friends. This year make sure the gifts you are giving, particularly to children, are completely safe. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, so celebrate the holidays by promoting safety in your gift giving.

Purchasing a gift for a child can be exciting but it is important to consider the appropriateness of the toy as well as the child’s age, skill level and interests before buying. Make sure toys are labeled signaling that they have passed a safety inspection by the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

Here are some more tips about how you can keep your child and others safe this National Safe Toys and Gifts Month:

  • Immediately discard of wrapping paper, plastic wrapping, or toy packaging that may become dangerous play items.
  • Avoid toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches that may pose a risk for strangulation for young children.
  • Avoiding giving toys with small parts to young children, as they may accidentally ingest them, which can lead to choking or other serious health issues.
  • Use a cardboard toilet paper roll as a small parts tester. If an object can slide through, it is too small for children under age three to play with.
  • If a toy requires batteries or charging, adults should supervise the charging.

Checking for safety labels that state a toy is non-toxic, particularly for items such as markers or crayons, is also important. Continuing to examine toys for safety hazards, sharp edges and broken pieces will ensure that your child stays safe during playtime. Staying up to date with recent toy recalls or changes in toy safety standards can help significantly in keeping children out of harm’s way.

Using these tips as well as your best judgment this holiday season will lead to a happy and healthy time for all. A child’s safety is worth much more than any toy, so please remember to be vigilant when gift shopping this December. Have a very happy and safe holiday season!


Jaime Venditti, State Coordinator, New York Health Works