Toy Safety

The classic holiday movie A Christmas Story depicts young Ralphie’s hilarious obsession with obtaining a Red Rider BB gun despite his mother’s warnings that he’ll “shoot his eye out.” Unfortunately, moms worry for good reason — thousands of children age 14 and younger suffer eye injuries each year from toys, according to Prevent Blindness America. So heed these guidelines:

Confirm the toy is age appropriate

Read all labels and instructions

Show children how to use toys safely

Supervise them when they play

Purchase a small parts tester to determine any potential choking hazard

Avoid toys with sharp edges

Make sure toys with projectiles — such as darts or arrows — have soft tips or suction cups

Be wary of toys with strings or chords that could present strangulation hazards

Examine each toy thoroughly

Discard broken toys

Check that toys with fabric are labeled flame resistant or flame retardant

Verify painted toys use lead–free paint

Have children wear helmets when riding motorized scooters, bicycles, and skateboards and operate them only in designated safe areas

Teach children where to safely store toys

Stay updated on the latest recalls.

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