Thank you The Toy Association for sponsoring this post. Keeping kids safe while they play is the #1 priority for The Toy Association and its members.
As you probably know by now, the 2019 edition of our much-loved annual toy awards was released last month.
I work on them for months and always do my best to get them out by the end of October in order to give parents lots of time to research the very best toys for their kids this Christmas. I love being a trusted source for finding highly engaging toys that will go the distance for your kids and I take the responsibility seriously.
Which is why, this year, I’m also teaming up with The Toy Association to share how parents can shop safely, as well as smartly, this season.
Things to Think About Before Toy Shopping this Year
#1 Be Careful with “Unboxing” Toys For Kids Under 3
Yes, your kids love them. Who wouldn’t love a surprise, or 10, hidden within a toy’s packaging before you even get to the main event? I get it!
But these toys often include small parts, so make sure to always follow the age label on toy packaging and avoid toys with small parts for kids under 3 (or kids who still mouth toys), because they may present a choking hazard.
In fact, a recent survey of 1,000 U.S. parents conducted by Wakefield Research on behalf of The Toy Association found that an alarming 96% of parents are confident their children can play with a toy even if they are younger than what the age label recommends.
It’s important to remember that age grading is always based on safety – and not on how smart your child might be. Trust the experts!
#2 If It the Deal is Too Good to Be True, It Probably Is
Toys centered around the latest block-buster movies are in high demand every year- and the prices usually reflect that- so it’s completely understandable that you’d want to jump at the chance for a seemingly incredible deal on Amazon or eBay.
Sadly, if you spot a deal that seems too good to be true, the product might be a counterfeit or imitation that might also be unsafe. (Also, it might be a lot less durable than the real thing- leading to disappointment from your kiddo when it breaks after two days of play.)
It’s just not worth the risk. Be sure that you are buying all of your toys from reputable sellers you know and trust because toys sold by legitimate and known sellers are tested for compliance with the U.S.’s strict toy safety standard.
#3 When In Doubt, Check Out Play Safe
Playsafe.org is the best place to go for all your toy safety. They’ve got all kinds of great resources including:
- An age-by-age toy safety buying guide
- A database of toy recalls organized by year
- Even their own resident expert; Toy Safety Mom, Joan Lawrence.
Additional Safety Tips
The Toy Association and its members take toy safety very seriously and are committed year-round to educating parents and caregivers about safe play. Following this simple safety advice can go a long way toward preventing unnecessary accidents and injuries:
- Separate your toys if you have kids of different ages. Keep older children’s toys, which may contain small pieces, out of reach from younger siblings and their friends.
- Demonstrate and supervise. Get on the floor and play with your kids! Show them how to use a toy so they understand how to properly and safely enjoy it. And always supervise children while they play.
- Don’t allow kids to play with unsafe household objects that aren’t toys. These items include small, powerful magnets (found in some office supplies, desk puzzles, etc.) and button cell batteries (often used in hearing aids, watches, etc.). These, among certain other objects found around the home, are not meant to be played with and can pose unique hazards to children.
I really hope these tips help you keep your toy buying safe and fun this year!