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Children love receiving gifts and presents year-round, and the excitement that comes from unwrapping a gift can fill a house with joy. While toys are meant to be fun and entertaining, they can pose several safety risks. In 2014 there were approximately 251,800 toy-related injuries, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Fortunately, parents and guardians can protect their kids by implementing safe toy practices.

Shopping for Gifts

Finding gifts for your child can be an exciting and rewarding experience. From dolls to action figures to building blocks, there are so many items that could be on your child’s wishlist. When shopping for presents, keep these toy safety tips from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) in mind:

  • Check for safety labels that say the toy is non-toxic as well as age recommendations for the item;
  • Find games that meet your child’s abilities, age, and interest; and
  • Pick products with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) label. The label means that it has met the national safety standards.

Toy Safety at Home

Toy Safety Tips Infographic

After finding the perfect gift, it’s important to continue toy safety at home. Children are curious and some are prone to swallow or grab whatever they can get their hands on. Stay attentive by incorporating safe practices in their playtime.

  • Remain up-to-date with recent recalls. If your child owns one of the items recalled make sure to remove it.
  • Tell your child to clean up after playtime. Safely organizing toys can prevent accidents such as tripping or falling.
  • Avoid toys with tiny parts for children younger than 3 years old. These small items pose a choking hazard.
  • Examine toys for safety hazards, pointed edges, and broken pieces.
  • Use a small parts tester to make sure toys don’t pose a choking hazard.

For more information about toy safety standards and recalls, contact CPSC.

How do you practice toy safety in your home? Comment below or tweet us @MassGov.

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