December is the month when you’re most likely to buy toys and gifts. Purchase safe ones.
If you’re shopping for children, buy toys that are age appropriate. You don’t want your gift to turn a child’s holiday into a nightmare.
Here is a checklist for buying safe toys:
- Check the minimum age recommendation on the package. Buy a gift that suits a child’s age, ability and interest level.
- Supervise children while they are using electronic toys. Put the toys away after playtime in a dry area out of smaller kids’ reach.
- Teach your children how to use their toys safety. For example, if a toy has a cord that plugs into the wall, teach the child how to safely use electrical outlets. Demonstrate how to unplug by pulling on the plug itself, not the cord.
- Look for the letters “ASTM” on the packaging of the toys you buy. That means the toy meets the American Society for Testing and Materials’ safety standards.
- Buying toys from thrift shops, flea markets and garage sales will save you a few bucks, but second-hand toys may not adhere to newer safety standards and could be dangerous.
- Keep an eye out for toy recalls online at www.cpsc.gov.