If you plan on buying toys for kids this holiday season, there is one tip you need to follow to make sure everyone stays safe.
For the most part, Vice President of Safety Standards and Regulatory affairs for the Toy Industry Association, or TIA, Joan Lawrence says, the toys you see on store shelves are safe.
“We have strict toy safety standards here in this country,” said Lawrence. “And all products [parents are] going to see on shelves by law, must have already been tested and certified as compliant by those standards. So, toys are safe.”
Toys that are considered safe by the industry may not be safe if you buy the wrong toy for the wrong child and it all starts by consumers paying attention to what is on the box. Lawrence said the age recommendations are put there for a reason; but according to a recent study commissioned by the TIA, most people do not think those age recommendations are important.
“Well they have been tested, for those age categories,” she said. “…They have already weeded out any potential safety issues for that age range.”
Lawrence also says it is important to keep choking hazards away from small children.
“Small parts in toys are appropriate for older children but not appropriate for children under three years of age or who may still be putting things in their mouths,” she explained.
An easy way to do that is to look for the small parts warning label on the box or you can get a small parts testing cylinder. If the toy fits, it is too small for kids under three. And if you have small kids and older kids, Lawrence offers this advice.
“If you have kids of different ages, older kids who can play with small parts and younger kids, under three who are still putting things in their mouths, you’ll want to keep those things, the older child’s toys separate from that younger child because it could pose a choking issue,” she said.