The clock is ticking and there’s just about four weeks left to shop for everything on your kids’ wish list. Whether you’re fighting the crowds at the mall on Black Friday or taking the online shopping route, purchasing toys and gifts that are safe and age-appropriate is very important to prevent dangerous situations and serious injuries. Before you buy, follow these guidelines:
Inspect toys before purchasing.
• Look for sharp points, edges, and parts that can fly off.
• In addition to the design, check for durability and construction – can a child pull off a small part, stick it in their mouth, potentially swallow it and choke? Is the toy sturdy and well made?
• Avoid toys with ropes, cords or heating elements.
• Look for the word “nontoxic” when shopping – this could include toy chemistry sets, crayons and play makeup.
Double-check toys that require batteries.
• If your gift requires batteries, make sure they do not use “button” batteries which are often dislodged and swallowed by young children.
Make sure the toy is age-appropriate.
• Toys are not “one size fits all.” Most toys, board games and video games provide an age range on the packaging to help you make the best purchase possible.
• For infants and children with special needs, find toys that appeal to the senses (sound, light, movement and texture). Toys can enhance learning as well as entertain.
Create a “safe toy” shopping list and share with family and friends.
• Listen to your child’s wants and desires, and then create an approved shopping list for family and friends. This will help bring safe and quality toys into your home.