Holiday Toy Safety Tips
Written By Savvy Auntie Staff Writers
The holidays are a time of year when Aunties want to shower their nieces and nephews with toys that they will love. But in the rush and excitement of the season, it is easy to lose sight of safety. Here are some tips to ensure that your nieces and nephews with have a holiday that is both fun and safe.
1. Carefully read a toy’s packaging and labels for safety warnings and recommended age ranges—which are based on a toy’s potential safety hazards, not on how smart a child may be.
2. Especially for kids three and under, sturdy parts and tightly secured joints are a must. Avoid any toy with sharp edges, toxic materials, and small pieces that might separate or be broken off.
3. Once the thrill of gift-opening is done, remove all that used gift wrap and plastic packaging as soon as possible. Piles of wrapping paper can conceal sharp objects, and the edges of hard plastic packaging can cut small fingers.
4. Always read assembly and usage instructions. Encourage the parents to hang onto product literature in case of future questions. Filling out and mailing back warranty cards is essential so that parents can be contacted in case of a toy recall.
5. For safe toy storage, parents should keep a separate toy chest or bin for older children’s toys, which may contain small parts. Make sure these older kids know it’s also their responsibility to help keep their toys out of the reach of younger siblings. Lidded toy storage should be nonlocking and have special safety features such as spring-loaded hinges to make sure little fingers won’t get caught.
6. Did you know that more toy-related “boo-boos” are caused by trips and falls than by toys themselves? Keep staircases and high-traffic hallways toy-free!
7. Always supervise a young child’s play time.
8. Inspect toys regularly. Repair or replace damaged or broken parts immediately.
Thank you to the Toy Industry Association for their help with this. Visit ToyInfo.org for more.
For more Savvy Safety Tips, check out page 140 of SAVVY AUNTIE: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers, and All Women Who Love Kids.
Published: December 7, 2011