Finding the best and safest toys the best and safest toys

By Sara Jo Foley, APRN Pediatrics

It’s that time of the year again when we begin to think about giving gifts to the loved ones in our lives, and for parents, grandparents, and other grown-ups who have kids in their lives they want to buy for the question “is it a safe toy?” can be a tricky one to decipher!

Luckily, the American Academy of Pediatrics ( has a few things to keep in mind to buy the perfect toy for your perfect little someone!

  • Look for warning labels-labels give important information about how to use the toy safely and correctly. Be sure an adult demonstrates proper use of the toy when there are warning labels.
  • Think BIG. Pick toys that are too big for your kiddo to put in their mouth to prevent choking hazards- especially for kids younger than three years of age.
  • The AAP recommends you avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. The risk of eye injuries (flashbacks to the timeless Christmas movie?) or choking on small parts is greater. 
  • Loud toys? How loud is too loud? There are some toys that could cause hearing loss due to the loudness of the toys operating system.
  • Choose soft and stuffed toys that are well made. Ensure there are no loose seams or limbs that may detach and become a choking hazard, avoid toys with bean or pellet-like innards that if spilled could become choking hazards
  • Plastic toys should be sturdy and without sharp edges
  • Again, read the label and be sure it says “non-toxic”
  • Hobby kits or chemistry sets should be reserved for kiddos 12 years of age and older due to the safety recommendations regarding mixing of chemicals and fire safety
  • Electric toys should be “UL approved” per the AAP, also reminder to keep an eye out for batteries- button batteries are especially harmful to young children if swallowed
  • Avoid crib toys that are soft or hang inside the crib. Remember, creating a safe sleep environment is crucial for decreasing the risk of SIDS. Soft blankets, toys or objects that dangle would decrease the safety of the sleep space.

Enjoy your family time and be safe this holiday season!

Sara Jo Foley is an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse with Physicians’ Primary Care of Southwest Florida) with offices throughout Lee County.

— familynews
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