Infant and Toddler Toy Safety by liuhongmei


									Infant and Toddler Toy Safety
Prepared by ND Child Care Resource & Referral Health Consultant Team

Infants and toddlers love to put things in their mouth. It is important to follow manufacturer’s guidelines and
review these safety guidelines when choosing toys for this age group.

General Guidelines
• The size of infant/toddler toys and toy pieces must be at least 1 1/4” in diameter and longer than 2 1/4”
  to reduce choking risk. Use choke tube tester or toilet paper tube to test toy/toy piece. If a toy or toy
  component fits inside, it is unsafe.
• The weight of the toy should be light enough for the child to handle.
• Toys should be labeled washable and non-toxic.
• Assess if a toy may contain lead. Lead can appear in the paint on the surface or in the toy’s vinyl, pigment or
  plastic. Avoid purchasing non-brand toys from discount stores or private vendors to limit potential exposure.
• Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website,, for toy recalls and alerts.

Toy Construction
• Riding toys should be stable and well-balanced to prevent tipping.
• Cloth toys should be labeled flame resistant, flame retardant or nonflammable.
• Stuffed toys should have tightly sewn seams and have all paper tags removed.
• Electrical toys should be labeled “UL”, which means it has been safety tested by Underwriters Laboratory.
• Mechanical toys should have fully encased drive springs.
• Battery operated toys should have battery case that is securely closed (ex. with screws) so children cannot
  open it. The ingestion of batteries can cause serious chemical burns, internal bleeding, and choking.
  Don’t forget that items such as remote controls, musical greeting cards, etc. also contain batteries.
• Metal toys should be free from rust.
• Plastic toys should be strong or flexible so they won’t break and leave sharp/jagged edges.

Toys to Avoid:
• Small cars (ex. Matchbox or Hot Wheels) due to choking hazard of small wheels and parts.
• Toys with magnets, unless magnet or toy containing a magnet is large (doesn’t fit in choke test tube or toilet
  paper tube) or magnet is completely enclosed so it cannot fall out. Magnets can cause serious injuries and/or
  death if two or more are swallowed, or if one is swallowed with a metal object.
• Toys with detachable small parts (ex. removable eyes) that could lodge in windpipes, ears or noses.
• Foam blocks, books, puzzles, etc. are hazardous because a child could potentially bite off a piece and choke.
• Play forks, spoons, or knives that can become lodged in a child’s throat. Large spatulas or mixing spoons are
  safer choices for dramatic play.
• Toys with sharp edges, exposed nails, sharp wires and straight pins.
• Toys with parts that could pinch fingers or toes or catch hair.
• Toys with cords/strings that are longer than 12 inches long. Shorten the cord/string.
• Bags, purses, hats or guitars with straps/handles pose a strangulation hazard. Remove strap/handle from item
  or knot to shorten so child can’t get his/her head through strap/handle.
• Ties, scarves, necklaces, boas, etc. due to strangulation hazard. Clip ties are safer choices for dramatic play.

Minimizing lead exposure, AAP News, Volume 29, Number 1, January 2008.
Consumer Product Safety Commission

Revised 4/11

                                                 Child Care Resource & Referral is a program of Lutheran Social Services in western North Dakota
                                                                   and Lakes and Prairies Community Action Partnership in eastern North Dakota

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