- Buy age-appropriate toys.
- Look for toys and other gifts that meet American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards.
- Review warnings on the toy’s box.
- Avoiding shooting toys that have pieces that shoot or fly off. Remember that BB guns, air guns, and paintball guns are not really toys. (Sorry, Ralphie, your Mom was right. They can shoot your eye out.
Keep toys designed for older children out of the hands of little ones. Follow labels that give age recommendations— some toys are recommended for older children, they may be hazardous in the hands of a younger child. Teach older children to help keep their toys away from younger brothers and sisters. Even balloons, when un-inflated or broken, can choke or suffocate if young children try to swallow them. More children have suffocated on un-inflated balloons and pieces of broken balloons than on any other type of toy.
- Ages 3 and under. Avoid small toys that they can swallow, never let children of any age play with un-inflated or broken balloons; avoid marbles, balls and games with balls with a diameter of 1¾ inches or less; avoid toys with small magnets, magnetic pieces or loose magnets that can be swallowed.
- Ages 3-5. Avoid toys that have sharp edges and points, or are made of thin, brittle plastic that can break into small, jagged pieces; inspect art materials such as crayons and paint sets for the designation “ASTM D-4236,” which ensures that the products have been reviewed by a toxicologist and labeled, also avoid toys with magnets in this age group.
- Ages 6-12. Older children should be taught to keep their toys away from younger siblings. Any toy guns should have a brightly colored barrel so they cannot be mistaken for a real gun.
- How to Find Out Which Toys Have Been Recalled:
The CPSC keeps a list of recalled toys on their Web site at www.cpsc.gov.