Toy Safety

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 parts that can fit into a mouth and choke a child.
  • Throw away broken balloons and put away deflated balloons. Broken or deflated balloons can pose a threat if children chew on them. Keep window coverings, baby monitors, and other items with cords or strings out of the reach of babies and young children. Babies and young children can get strings wrapped around their necks.
  • Keep plastic bags out of the reach of young children. Store or recycle plastic wrappings, plastic bags and other packaging.

Check for Other Potential Hazards

  • Never give adult jewelry to children. Adult jewelry can contain high levels of lead.
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges which can cut the skin.
  • 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.
  • Keep air rockets, darts, and other shooting toys that can cause serious eye injuries away from young children.
  • 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 magnet 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. Children under 14 years of age must wear a helmet when riding a bicycle in New York City.
  • 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.

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