December: Safe Toys and Gift Month

By Emily Koeppel, B.A. and Lindsay Hornell, BSW, B.A.,
Graduate Research Assistants in Human Development & Family Studies,
Colorado State University

December: Safe Toys and Gift Month

December is National Safe Toys and Gift month. With the holidays around the corner, this is a perfect time to make sure you know what toys are safe and what toys are not as safe. As you are looking for that perfect toy for your grandchild keep these safety tips in mind:

  • Pay attention to the label that indicates age appropriateness of the toy.
  • Look for toys that are sturdy and well made. Paying a little more for a toy that will last longer and be safer for your grandchild is worth the extra cost.
  • Try to buy toys that have met the American Society for Testing and Materials safety standards. There will be a logo on the toy indicating it has passed an ASTM safety inspection.
  • Refrain from purchasing toys with sharp objects, points, or small parts.
  • Avoid purchasing electric toys with heating elements (e.g., an Easy Bake Oven).
  • Try not to purchase any toys with ropes or cords.

If you are able to choose toys that follow these tips, you will decrease the chances of injury resulting from toys. However, it's important that you still are aware of how to keep these toys safe after you have purchased them. These simple guidelines will help to keep your grandchildren's toys safe:

  • Make sure you inspect all toys on a regular basis. Look for broken pieces or damage that could create small pieces. Repair or discard immediately if you notice any broken parts that are hazardous to your grandchild.
  • Be aware of toys that advise adult supervision in the instructions. Supervise your grandchild while he/she plays with these toys and try to set good examples of appropriate play.
  • Try to keep your grandchild in a safe environment while playing with toys. For example, riding toys should not be used near stairs, traffic, or swimming pools.
  • Keep toys separated by age appropriateness to ensure young children do not accidently play with toys intended for older children.

Being aware of toy safety, especially at this time of year, can make gift shopping less stressful and can ensure you are keeping your grandchildren safe. For information on toys to avoid this season and more toy safety tips please look at this article on the annual Toy Safety Report.