With the holiday season in full swing, gifts are typically exchanged between friends and family. An entertaining part of exchanging gifts is seeing children get excited when opening their presents. When shopping for the children on your list, it is important to consider the appropriateness of each particular gift for the intended child to ensure it coincides with their development and household setting. The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection released the following tips you should use when shopping for a child’s gift:
• Use the manufacturers’ suggested age range as a foundation for whether a toy is appropriate for the physical and mental skills of the child.
• Make sure toys with fabric are flame resistant.
• Look for toys that are labeled with ASTM F963 or ASTM D4236 to ensure the products meet the latest toy safety standards or have been reviewed by a professional.
• For homes with younger children, avoid toys with small parts, magnets, cords or strings. Look for general warning labels that list the potential for small parts, choking hazards, suffocation hazards, etc.
• Check for recalled toys at the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website: http://www.CPSC.gov
• Avoid no-name products. A manufacturer’s name and address is not a guarantee of safety, but it means you can track down a legitimate company to remedy problems.
• Pick up any safety items that go along with a toy, such as a helmet for a bike or scooter.
• Make sure that art supplies such as crayons, markers, or paints are labeled as non-toxic.
• Look for hidden dangers such as sharp points, loud noises or projectiles.
• If you are purchasing wooden toys, look for splinters or sharp edges.
• If you are purchasing used toys, skip ones with chipped paint in order to avoid possible exposure to lead.
Always remember to gather and remove any plastic wrapping, twist ties, zip ties, clamshell containers, and other potentially dangerous toy packaging materials after the gifts are unwrapped!