As the holidays creep closer, some families are still looking for the best toys and gifts to stuff their little ones’ stockings. For parents with younger children, finding the right toy can be about a lot more than just Legos versus Play Mobile. When you’re shopping in the toy aisle, how do you know you’re getting the safest option for your children?

Kyle ER is here to help with the holiday gift rush. We will teach you what to look for when you’re shopping for toys, and what to look for when you’re deciding which toys your kids might need to give up. From holidays gifts to New Year’s clean-outs, we are here to help you keep your family safe during playtime.

Shopping for New Toys

The holidays mean wish lists galore, and some kids might have their hearts set on specific gifts, and others might ask for whatever they can get in their favorite color. No matter what parents are shopping for, the toy aisles can be crazy, and finding toys that safe can be difficult. When you’re shopping for any age of child here are some of the common safety features you need to look for:

  • Any toy made of fabric should be marked as flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Stuffed toys should be washable and have no rips or tears in the seams.
  • Painted toys should be marked as using lead-free paint.
  • All art supplies, like paint sets and crayons, should be marked as nontoxic, and should specifically be marked with “ASTM D-4236.” This means they have been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.

When you’ve found the right toys that fit these safety requirements, the only thing left it make sure the toy you’re buying is age appropriate. We see age ranges listed on toys all the time, recommending use for kids age 5-10 or 6 and up. These age recommendations are not indicators of a child’s maturity or intellect, as many might think. Rather, they are indicators of safety. Young children, toddlers, and infants should not be given toys meant for older ages. Heavier toys, sharper edges, and small, breakable pieces can all become hazards for younger ages.  Keep an eye on the age ranges for each toy and make sure you only buy toys appropriate for your little one’s age.

Cleaning Out the Toy Box

For some families, giving toys for the holidays can not only be a good way to make your children smile, but can also be a good way to clean up their toy box. Replacing older, broken toys with new ones for Christmas or New Year’s can be great for parents and children alike, since older toys can sometimes become a health hazard as well. When your child is cleaning up their play things, check for the following signs of wear and tear in their toys:

  • Stuffed animals or fabric toys that are torn, ripped, or pieces torn off
  • Wooden toys with chips, splinters, or rough edges
  • Plastic toys with broken pieces and jagged edges
  • Metal toys that are rusted or heavily tarnished
  • Any toys which have electronic components with exposed or frayed wires

If you see damaged toys in your child’s playset, then you should talk with them about it. Many children can be reluctant to give up old toys, even broken ones, but to keep them safe during playtime, you should explain to them why broken toys aren’t safe. The holidays can be a great time to give them newer toys to replace the old ones and educating your child about toy safety is an important part of their growing responsibility.

As parents hit the toy stores for those last holiday gifts, it is important to shop with safety in mind. The holidays are filled with joy and excitement for many kids, and you can keep their joy going all year round if you know they’re playing with only the best. So look out for the right materials and make sure that your kids aren’t playing with unsafe or broken toys.

In case of any unexpected holiday accidents, Kyle ER is open 24/7, even on holidays, with concierge-care for all ages. Our specialty pediatric care room will make your children comfortable, if they get a fever on Christmas Day or bump their head on New Year’s Eve. We work every day to keep Kyle families feeling their best, and we wish your family all the best this holiday season.

Nutex Health, Inc. supports you and your family’s health. Come visit Kyle ER or any one of our concierge-level freestanding facilities for the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.