During this holiday season, a lot of toys are purchased.
And no matter what time of year toys are bought, a risk comes with many of them.
Here are 5 tips for choosing safe toys, this holiday or any time of the year, according to Statford University in Woodbridge, Virginia:
Be a label reader. It is important to see past the toy and read the packaging. Look for “nontoxic” on anything that has art supplies, such as crayons, paints, clay, etc. Also, make sure paints are lead-free. Any children’s jewelry should have ASTM F2923 on the label, which means it has been tested and has met the guidelines set forth by the ASTM International (formerly American Society for Testing and Materials).
Keep age in mind. While it may be tempting to purchase toys outside of the child’s recommended age, it may be dangerous. The age recommendations are there because of potential harm that may exist. Stick with buying toys within the child’s age group to help minimize risks.
Get the gear. Purchasing a new skateboard, bike or other such device may be exciting, but unless a child has the gear that goes with it, there may be a safety hazard. Always purchase the safety gear that is needed to go with such an item, such as helmets, knee pads, goggles, etc.
Evaluate electronics. It is advised that children under the age of eight not have electronic toys, because they could pose burn hazards. Also, all electronics should have the “UL” symbol on the package, which means they have been safety tested by Underwriters Laboratories.
Thrift with care. Many parents who are cash-strapped this holiday may head to thrift stores in an effort to find toy gifts for their kids. There may be great bargains in the bin, but there could also be potential safety hazards. It is difficult to know which toys may have been recalled, which are not working properly, or the recommended ages for each toy. Always minimize risks by thoroughly checking the product over and by doing a quick online search regarding the item, which should help provide info about recommended ages and past recalls.