With the holidays fast approaching, shopping for the latest and greatest toys is inevitable for many people. We all want to give the children in our lives gifts that provide countless hours of fun and enjoyment. But how often do we think about safety when choosing a toy for a loved one?
Did you know there are toy safety standards enacted by Congress? The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) provides details for meeting ASTM F963-17, which is the Standard Consumer Safety Specification for Toy Safety.
The requirements for meeting this safety standard include:
- Testing of materials
- And many other components
There are certain tests required even for teething toys!
Review the CPSC website for more information on toy safety.
Why Is Toy Safety Important?
In 2017, an estimated 251,700 children were treated in a United States emergency department due to toy-related injuries.
- 69% were in children 12 years of age or younger
- 44% were injuries to the head and/or face
The top three toys associated with the highest number of injuries were:
- non-motorized scooters
- toy balls
- toy vehicles
The American Academy of Pediatrics offers these tips on toy selection:
- Give toddlers toys with magnets and button batteries, as these can easily be swallowed, causing internal burns and other health issues.
- Give preschoolers electric toys that must be plugged in, in order to prevent burns and electrical shocks.
- Have an open dialogue of appropriate internet usage when giving a tablet, smartphone or gaming system to a school-aged or adolescent child.
- Give gifts that stimulate the senses and increase developmental skills.
- Put toys away when not in use to avoid tripping and falling injuries.
There are many websites offering tips, advice and safe toy checklists. If you would like to seek additional advice before selecting toys for your loved ones take a few moments to visit these sites:
It is also important to keep abreast of any recalls that the CPSC has issued. Bookmark this page and check it frequently.