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Buying Safe Toys for Kids

Every year, thousands of children are injured by their toys. Most of these injuries are minor, causing scrapes, scratches, and bruises. The worst-case scenarios include hearing damage from loud toys, burns from malfunctioning electronics, and choking. As long as parents are vigilant about what toys they are buying their children, there should be no problem. Always be cautious and inspect any gifts or hand-me-downs before giving them to a child to play with and make sure that your kids are supervised, and you should be able to avoid any significant issues.

Here are a few more tips for buying safe toys for kids.

Toy Safety Tips for Newborns

Whether you’re the parent of a newborn or simply buying a gift for someone with an infant, you should always inspect the toy to make sure it’s age-appropriate. Keep an eye out for any product recalls so that you can avoid buying potentially deadly playthings. If the toy is CDC-approved, it will say so on the package. Toys that have a lot of small parts, marbles, tiny balls (like from tabletop sports games), or involve coins are not okay for newborns because they are a choking hazard.

The best way to check if something is small enough for a child this young is a choke-test tube. Many toy stores have one upon request, or you can make one at home with a toilet paper roll. These tubes are the same size as a newborn’s windpipe. Anything larger than the windpipe cannot get stuck.


At this age, children are crawling and moving and playing quite aggressively with their toys. Any toy given to a toddler should be inspected for weakness. Toys that aren’t durable and can rip, break, or fall apart, may expose the child to hazardous materials. For example, stuffed animals filled with beads may put children in peril if the trinket develops a hole. Make sure the toy can withstand chewing and rough play. Toys that the child can ride, like rocking horses or wagons, should be new and include straps to hold the child.

Elementary School

Older children can play with a broader array of materials, but that doesn’t mean just anything is safe for them. They’re less likely to put toys in their mouths like their toddler counterparts, but they are more likely to play with electronics that malfunction. Make sure you read reviews for any potential risks that other parents might mention. If it breaks easily, if the batteries or wires fall out, or other pieces come apart, stay away. Some of these toys make sounds or have flashing lights, so make sure that the volume of these toys is low enough that it won’t damage the child’s hearing accidentally.

General Toy Safety for All Children

Children under three years of age tend to put everything in their mouths. Once you keep that in mind, it’s a lot easier to find suitable toys. In 2019, stores and parents take safety seriously, so every toy is labeled. If you buy toys that shoot anything into the air, hand it to the parents and not the child. These toys can cause eye injuries if something goes amiss, so parents should stay in control in that situation. Check for a “non-toxic” statement on the toy’s packaging. If you’re buying a bicycle and roller skates, always get a helmet too.

Local Pediatricians Near Me

If you’re not sure about a toy, you can always call and ask your pediatrician. Or, if your child sustained an injury from playing with a defective toy, call Glen Allen Pediatrics 804-282-4210 to make an appointment. Our friendly doctors have more than five decades of experience, and our office has an A+ rating from the BBB in customer service. Don’t hesitate, we’re happy to answer any questions you may have about your child’s health and safety.