Always watch young children closely when they play. Play is an important part of a child's growth and development, but sometimes children can be seriously hurt when playing with toys. Below are steps you can take to keep children safe when they play.
Avoid Choking and Suffocation Hazards
- Avoid toys with small or loose parts that can fit into a mouth and choke a child. Do not let young children play with marbles.
- Throw away flat or popped balloons and plastic wrappings. Do not let young children play with plastic bags.
- Keep toys, jewelry and household items with long cords, strings or beads away from young children. Babies and young children can get strings wrapped around their necks.
- Avoid certain teething products, such as teething beads, which can choke a child.
Check for Other Potential Hazards
- Never give adult jewelry to children. Adult jewelry can contain high levels of lead.
- Avoid toys with sharp edges, points, prongs and exposed wires. Darts, air rockets and other toys that fly through the air can cause injuries.
- Fix or throw out broken toys right away.
- Charge battery-powered toys for young children. Chargers and adapters that come with toys can shock or burn.
- Buy toys with battery compartments that are sealed or need a screwdriver to open. Button batteries can cause burns and other serious injuries if swallowed.
- Keep toys with small magnets away from young children. Magnetic parts can cause serious injury or death if swallowed.
Play Safely Outdoors
- Make sure children use helmets and other safety equipment when biking, skating, or riding skateboards and scooters. While everyone should wear a helmet, it is the law for children 13 years old and younger.
- Make sure children always wear shoes when playing outside.
- Visit playgrounds with rubber mats or other safety surfaces.
Read Labels Carefully
- Always follow age recommendations on toy labels. Keep toys for older kids out of reach of babies and toddlers.
- Look for toys that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) toy safety standards.
- Buy toys that have the words 'non-toxic' on their labels.
- Visit New York State Department of Health or US Consumer Product Safety Commission to get information on toy recalls. Never buy or give away recalled toys.