Though going toy shopping for your children can be fun, the wide array of possibilities can also make the experience overwhelming.
So, to help you navigate the toy aisle wisely, here is a checklist to help you choose safe toys:
- Check the minimum age recommendation on the package. Buy a gift that suits a child’s age, ability and interest level.
- Before buying electronic toys, remember that depending on how old the kids are, they will need to be supervised while they play with them. And, after play time, you’ll need to put the toys in a dry area out of smaller kids’ reach.
- Also with electronic toys, you’ll need to teach your children how to use their toys safely. For example, if a toy has a cord that plugs into the wall, teach children how to safely use electrical outlets. You’ll need to demonstrate how to unplug by pulling on the plug itself, not the cord.
- Look for the letters “ASTM” on the packaging of the toys you buy. That means the toy meets the American Society for Testing and Materials’ safety standards.
- Buying toys from thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales will save you a few bucks, but second-hand toys may not adhere to newer safety standards and could be dangerous.
- Keep an eye out for toy recalls online at www.cpsc.gov.