When giving gifts to children, it is incredibly important to keep in mind the age, abilities, and skills of the children receiving the gifts to ensure their safety. Prevent Blindness America, a non-profit organization dedicated to fighting blindness, declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month, to inspire everyone to give gifts with the safety of the child in mind. For the holiday season and all other gift giving occasions, keep in mind the following guidelines when buying toys for children:
Inspect toys before purchasing: Look for toys that do not have multiple parts, sharp edges, and are easily breakable.
Consider the needs of the child receiving the gift: Children with special needs may benefit from toys that appeal to their senses, such as sound, movement, and texture.
As a parent or guardian, inspect your children’s toys, they have received, before allowing them to play: Look diligently, inspecting the toys for age range, skill level, and safety hazards, before allowing your child to play, especially if they will be playing without supervision.
Read the toy labels: Look for labels on the toys that indicate a safety inspection has been passed. For example, “ATSM”, means they toy has been approved by the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
Gift safety equipment: Give the proper safety equipment with the corresponding toy. For example, if gifting a child a skateboard, give a helmet too.
DO NOT give toys with small parts, ropes, cords, or heating elements: All toys with these elements possess a safety hazard.
For more detail on safe toys for children, visit https://preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist/.
1. “Safe Toys and Gifts Month.” Safe Toys and Gifts Month, American Public Health Association, https://www.apha.org/Events-and-Meetings/APHA-Calendar/2021/2021-Safe-Toys-and-Gifts-Month.