It’s the season of giving!

Whether you’re shopping for the kids in your life or looking to donate gifts, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind to ensure you’re buying safe toys.

10 Tips for Giving Gifts to Children

  1. Before buying a gift, read the label! Warning labels on the package should specify what ages it’s safe for.
  2. Don’t give kids toys with cords, ropes, or heating elements.
  3. Be careful with toys that have small parts, as they can be a choking hazard. To stay on the safe side, only give gifts that are larger than a child’s mouth.
  4. Avoid toys with sharp points, edges, or magnets, as they may cause accidents.
  5. Only buy crayons, markers, and paint that are labeled “nontoxic.”
  6. Avoid loud toys – if not for the parents’ sake, for the child’s hearing.
  7. Make sure electric toys are marked “UL approved.”
  8. If you get a gift that has wheels, be sure to buy a helmet as well.
  9. Demonstrate how to use the toy and go over important instructions.
  10. If you have children of varying ages, try to keep their toys as separate as possible.

Appropriate Gifts for All Ages

Kids, especially those who are in school, spend their time in front of screens now more than ever before. This year let’s shift the focus to fun, entertaining, educational toys to encourage a healthy balance between mindless and mindful play!

For a list of creative, brain-stimulating toys for every age, check out Fat Brain Toys, a company on a mission to create “A Smarter Way to Play.” For children with special needs, check out these sensory-friendly pieces from Target.

The best toys for each age group:

 0-12 months:

  • Bright, colorful, multipatterned crib mobiles
  • Rattles
  • Soft and washable stuffed animals 
  • Activity boards
  • Plastic (unbreakable) mirrors

1-2 years:

  • Nesting cups or boxes
  • Stacking rings
  • Shape sorters
  • Puzzles with larger pieces
  • Rubber ducks or bath time toys

2-3 years:

  • Dolls and stuffed animals
  • Toy tea sets
  • Tricycles or toys you can ride
  • Musical instruments
  • Toy Telephone

4-5 years:

  • Art supplies
  • Building blocks
  • Action figures
  • Barbies
  • Dress up clothes

6-7 years:

  • Remote control cars
  • Game boys
  • Legos
  • Basketball or soccer ball
  • Science kits

8 years and older:

  • Sports equipment
  • Conscious video games
  • Board games
  • Craft kits
  • Musical instruments

Toy Safety

Cuts, scrapes, and eye injuries are all unfortunate accidents that can occur when kids play with toys, but the most dangerous risk is choking. The best way to prevent choking is to follow the gift guidelines above and supervise children while they play and eat.

Signs of choking to be hyper-aware of include:

  • Violent coughing  
  • Being unable to cry, breathe, or speak
  • High-pitch noises when inhaling
  • Pale or blue-tinted face
  • Clutching their throat

For more information, click here to learn about the most common choking hazards for each age, according to the CDC. And take this time to save the Poison Control Hotline in your phone; in the event that your child ever gets ahold of something toxic, 1-800-222-1222.

We wish you and your loved ones a healthy and happy holiday season! And as always, if there happen to be any accidents, boo-boos, or medical emergencies, we’re here to help. Our premier facility is open 24/7, 365 days a year—including holidays!

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