Don’t Be a Grinch: How to Buy Safe & Fun Toys This Christmas! by Joyce Knestrick, CRNP, FAANP
Struggling to find this year’s hottest – and safest – toys? The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires that toys intended for kids under the age of 12 meet certain requirements, but some toys are safer than others. How can you tell the difference?
- Start with age. The CSPC’s recommended age is based on safety, not whether they’re a child prodigy, so even if you’re buying for a 3-year-old going on 30, they still shouldn’t be exposed to small parts.
- Avoid vintage. Hand-me-down toys are full of nostalgia, but they may also be full of safety infractions (e.g., broken parts, long chords, lead paint). Stick to simple things like blocks, and when in doubt, buy new.
- Don’t confuse age and size. Buying a bike or something that a child must maneuver safely? Pay attention to height and weight requirements.
- Skip the hazards. Balloons are a choking hazard and magnets can do a number on a kid’s stomach if swallowed, so steer clear of these red flags.
- Keep it simple. Toys are supposed to stimulate the imagination, so don’t fall for all the bells and whistles when they may just like the cardboard box it comes in.
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