Safe Toys and Gifts Month: Best Gifts for Children and What to Consider

safe toys

The holiday season is here, and gifts are an integral part of the celebrations, especially for children! Considering the number of options available, choosing the perfect gift for a child can be overwhelming.  

Every December, we observe National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, which reminds us to be vigilant about the toys we give to children and ensure they are age-appropriate and free from hazards. Parents, caregivers, and gift-givers should be aware of the importance of toy safety, and this blog will provide more information on this topic.


Why is Toy Safety Important?

Toys bring entertainment and joy to children, but they can also pose risks if they are not made with safety in mind. Children’s toys can be a choking hazard if they have small parts that can come off or are small enough to fit in a child’s mouth. Toys that are too hard or sharp can also cause injury if misused.

Toy safety is especially important for young children developing their physical coordination and cognitive skills. They may not understand the potential risks associated with certain toys and may be unable to use them properly. This is why it’s so important to choose age-appropriate gift toys and closely supervise children when playing with them.


Toy Hazards: What to Look for When Selecting Children’s Toys

When shopping for toys, it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards and choose safe toys. Here are some things to consider:


1. Age-appropriateness

Look for toys with labels within the recommended age range. Toys that are too advanced for a child’s age may be difficult to use, leading to frustration and potential injury. On the other hand, toys that are too simple may not hold a child’s interest and may not provide the desired educational or developmental benefits. Read the label on the box of the toy. It will tell you if the toy suits your child’s age group.


2. Size

Be sure to check the toy’s size and ensure it’s not too small for a child to handle safely. Avoid toys with small parts that can easily come off. These small parts include small buttons, and beads, which can be a choking hazard. Toys that require batteries should have secure battery compartments that your child cannot easily open.


3. Construction & Materials

Some toys may contain toxic materials such as lead or other harmful chemicals. Look for toys with non-toxic materials, and be sure to follow all cautionary labeling. Ensure the toy is made with high-quality materials, and avoid cheap plastic. Look for toys that are well-made and do not have sharp edges or small parts that can break with minimal use.


4. Strangulation hazards

Long strings or cords on toys can be a strangulation hazard for young children. Look for toys with shorter cords, or remove the cords from toys that have them. Avoid putting mobiles over your child’s crib as well. 


5. Instructions

Please read the instructions carefully before letting children play with new toys; there may be specific instructions on how to use them safely to avoid injury to yourself or others by misusing them! Follow the manufacturer’s instructions, and ensure children understand how to use the toy safely. 


List of Safe Toys Per Age Group (babies, toddlers, school children)

It’s important to choose age-appropriate toys for children, as different age groups have different developmental needs and capabilities. Here are some safe toy options for specific age groups:


Safe Toys for Babies (0-12 months)

When shopping for toys for babies, it’s important to consider their developmental stage and what they can do at their age. At this age, babies are learning about their environment and developing their senses, so toys that are soft, easy to grasp, and make noise or have different textures are great choices. Avoid toys with small parts or loose strings that could be a choking hazard.

Some safe toy options for babies include:

  • Soft dolls or stuffed animals
  • Rattles or teething toys
  • Sensory toys with different textures or colors
  • Soft fabric books
  • Fabric playmats
  • Unbreakable mirrors or black-and-white toys to stimulate their vision
  • Toy phones or other simple play items


Safe Toys for Toddlers (1-3 years)

As toddlers become more active and curious, choosing toys that are sturdy and safe for them to play with is important. They are starting to develop their gross and fine motor skills, so toys encouraging this development are a good choice. Avoid toys with sharp edges or small parts that could be a choking hazard. Toys that encourage imaginative play and physical activity are excellent choices for this age group.

Safe toddler toys include:

  • Wooden blocks or shape sorters
  • Play kitchen sets or toy tools
  • Playhouses or tents
  • Simple puzzles or games
  • Ride-on toys or push toys
  • Non-toxic crayons or washable markers
  • Playdough or modeling clay
  • Musical instruments (such as xylophones or drums)


Safe Toys for School Children (4-8 years)

When your child reaches this age range, they become more skilled at problem-solving and imaginative play. Choose toys that challenge their cognitive and physical abilities and encourage creativity. Avoid toys that are too advanced or complicated for their age group and those with small parts or sharp edges that could be dangerous.

Safe toy options for school-aged children include:


More Tips on Toy Safety

There are other safety considerations to keep in mind when shopping for gifts for children. Following are some tips on ensuring the toys you choose are safe:

  • Avoid loud toys. Toys that are too loud can damage a child’s hearing, so it’s vital to consider the volume of a toy before purchasing.
  • Make sure to check if any of the toys you’re considering has been recalled by the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)
  • Read online reviews before buying a new toy for your child. This step will help you get an idea about whether or not other people feel that this toy is worth spending money on or not!
  • Check for safety standards. Look for toys that meet safety standards, such as those marked with a seal from a reputable testing agency.
  • Consider the toy’s maintenance – choose toys that are easy to clean and don’t require much maintenance.
  • Inspect toys. Even well-made toys can break or malfunction, leading to injury. It’s crucial to regularly check toys for signs of wear and tear and discard any broken or damaged toys.
  • Supervise play: It’s important to closely supervise young children while they play with toys, particularly those with small parts or moving parts. This step can help prevent accidents and injuries.
  • Don’t forget about the kid! Before you bring home a new toy, make sure you know what your child likes and what they will enjoy playing with.


Here’s to a Safe and Happy Playtime for Children!

In conclusion, it is important to prioritize safety when selecting toys and gifts for children.  When shopping for toys for children consider age appropriateness, material safety, and potential hazards. By researching and being mindful of safety guidelines, parents and caregivers can give children gifts that will provide joy and entertainment while keeping them safe!

For more parenting tips, read our CMCFresno Blog. When searching for “pediatricians near me” for quality health care for your children, please do not hesitate to contact our pediatric clinic! Learn more about our healthcare team at Children’s Medical Centers of Fresno today. 

For wellness and sick visits, call (559) 455-1500 or visit our main page to book an appointment online. We also offer telemedicine!


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