Everyone loves getting gifts around the holidays, especially kids! You only want the best for your kids, so you want them to have safe and age-appropriate toys. We’ve put together a list of guidelines to follow when buying toys for kids ages 0-12 so you can make sure they are not presented with any dangers or hazards, and everyone can enjoy a safe and fun holiday gift-giving season!
Guidelines For All Ages
- Read Labels — Labels on toys, such as “Not suitable for children under 3” or “Flame Resistant” are there for a reason. Read and heed these labels to make sure you buy toys that are age and instruction appropriate, as well as made of high-quality and safe materials.
- Choose with Care — Keep in mind the child’s interest, skill level and age to choose toys that will be both safe for them to use, as well as fun for them!
- Set-up and Clean-up — When opening new toys make sure all trash is discarded quickly. For younger children, plastic wrap can be dangerous and even deadly if played with. For older kids, toys with batteries and other small parts should be set-up with the help of an adult to make sure nothing is misplaced and electrical components are installed properly.
Ages 0 – 3
- Make sure toys do not have choking hazards. Check toys regularly for wear and tear, since pieces that break off can become choking hazards as well. Anything that is less than 75 inches in diameter is a choking hazard.
- Any soft toys, such as stuffed animals, should be machine washable.
- Toys with strings or ribbons can create a strangulation hazard and should not be given to young children.
Ages 4 – 6
- Avoid electrically operated toys, especially if they must be plugged in to use or have other heating elements.
- Don’t give children of this age toys with projectiles, like foam bullet guns.
- Magnets are used often in toys, but if they fall out of the toy and are swallowed they can cause serious internal damage.
Ages 7 – 9
- Buy items that fit. It may be tempting to buy a bike a size too big so they will grow into it, but this can cause serious injury. Any sports equipment such as bikes, skates, scooters, etc. should fit your child now.
- Art supplies should be labeled non-toxic and washable.
- Science and craft kits are great gifts for this age, but make sure they are not too advanced by reading the label. Parental supervision for some kits may be necessary.
Ages 10 – 12
- Children at this age may really like video games, but make sure the games they receive are age appropriate and have an “E” rating.
- As your child needs little supervision for play at this age, make sure any board games or science and craft kits are written at a level that will be easy to understand and follow for your child.
- Keep the toys from this age group away from and out of reach of smaller children, as they will have parts that can cause serious injury. Make sure your child knows to keep their toys in a safe place so they don’t become tripping hazards to themselves, or an even bigger danger to younger children.
The holidays are a time to be with your family and friends, but emergencies can still happen–and when they do you want to be taken care of FAST. That’s why there is Five Star ER. With our four convenient greater Austin locations and board certified doctors we can get you in and out and back to the holidays fast!
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About Five Star ER
Five Star ER is owned and operated by the physicians of US Acute Care Solutions, a respected provider of emergency physician services to hospitals and health systems across Texas for nearly 30 years. Our experienced physicians bring their excellent tradition of emergency care to a first-class, patient-centered freestanding ER.
Our patient-centered care means you will come first. Our freestanding ER provides the capabilities of a hospital emergency department, without the hassles and long waits that can be part of a hospital ER. From the comfortable lounge area and private exam rooms to our top-notch medical team and latest technology, patients can be door-to-doctor in less than 15 minutes.
This content was created to be purely educational in nature. This post is not meant to be used as a substitute for medical treatment or personal consultation regarding a medical condition. As always, if you or a loved one is suffering a life-threatening medical emergency or injury, call 911.