Toy Safety

Toy Safety
Posted on 12/02/2017
Article by Dr. Jennifer Caplan

It’s that time of year again! At North Scottsdale Pediatrics, we want to help you keep your family safe while enjoying all the festivities. Toy safety is an important topic this time of year, as we hurry around getting gifts for our own kids, as well as relatives and friends. How can you make sure that your gifts are safe?

1. Check the toy labeling and follow the age recommendations. Many toys are labelled for use only over the age of 3. This is because of safety, not their intellectual ability. So even if your 2 year old niece is super smart, she still should not get a toy labelled for over the age of 3. The toy contains parts that are small enough to choke on or some other hazard for younger children.

2. Avoid high powered magnets for young children. If a high powered magnet is accidentally ingested, it can cause severe damage to the intestinal tract. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommends avoiding these magnets for children under the age of 14.

3. Riding toys account for most of the emergency room visits and deaths associated with toys in the US. So be careful if you are giving a riding toy (i.e. scooter or bike.) Always purchase protective gear to go along with it (i.e. helmet.)

4. Make sure toys that you give are well made. Check stuffed animal seams, make sure they are machine washable, and if for a young child take off any strings or ribbons that may be a strangulation hazard. Check plastic toys to ensure that they are sturdy and do not break easily. Check that electronic toys are labelled UL approved.

Many people struggle to find age-appropriate gifts for kids. I encourage you to consider the following options for these age groups:
4-6 months: cloth books, rattles, play mats
6-9 months: cloth and board books, soft toys with different textures
9-12 months: board books, walk-behind walkers, standing play centers
12-24 months: board and picture books, shape sorters and other toys to put things in and take things out, blocks, small ride on toys
2-4 years: picture books, big Legos, washable art supplies for small hands, handheld vehicle toys, play scenes with figures
4-6 years: picture books and early chapter books, Magna-tiles and other building toys, Legos, art supplies, board games, outside play sand toys/sand box, tricycles, puzzles
7-10 years: chapter books, art supplies, board games, Legos, outside play balls, jump ropes, bikes, puzzles, science kits

There are also many excellent resources on the web for finding age-appropriate toys. I would recommend the following websites:
Reach Out and Read: Choosing Books for Children
Scottsdale Public Library book lists
Parents Guide to Age Appropriate Toys
A Parenting Blog: Age by Age Guide to Buying Toys

North Scottsdale Pediatrics

  • Ironwood Office - 9827 N. 95th St. Suite 105, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498
  • Deer Valley Office - 21807 N. Scottsdale Rd., Scottsdale, AZ 85255 Phone: (480) 860-8488 Fax: (480) 860-8498

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