The number one way to up the safety factor on any toy you choose to buy is to supervise your children. Because it is likely that you won't be hovering over your kiddo's every move, here are some additional tips for choosing the safest toys:
Select toys that are age-appropriate. Be mindful of the manufacturer's recommended age for each toy.
Load up on the gear. Classic Santa's surprises like bikes, scooters and roller blades can still be safe toys with the right safety gear.
Check for flame-resistant or flame retardant materials on toys. This is especially important where electronics are incorporated into the toy.
Verify that toy or art materials are non-toxic. This is especially important for younger kids.
Opt for newer toys. Hand-me-down toys are a cost-effective way to entertain your little ones, but they may not meet the current safety standards. When accepting a used toy from friends or family, check for any recalls on the toy and inspect it for wear and tear. Broken pieces can be a hazard to your child.
According to the CPSC, although the number of toy recalls and deaths related to toys are down, the number of toy-related deaths and injures are in fact up. To view the latest toy recalls, visit the CPCS's Toy Hazard Recall page.
Now that you know how to buy safe toys, remember to consider the ages of other children in your household. A toy that is perfectly safe for your nine-year-old may be dangerous for your three-year-old. A good rule of thumb is to teach your children to clean up and store toys properly regardless of their age to avoid potential falls, to keep from breaking toys when stepped on and to prevent siblings from accessing toys not appropriate for their age. By buying safe toys for kids this Christmas, you'll not only be keeping your kids safe, you'll be upping the fun factor.
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