As you wrap up your Christmas shopping, it’s a good time to think about the safety of your children. Toys are one of the most common gifts during this festive season, but they carry hidden risks. That’s why this month we’re focusing on some of the things you need to know about toys and gifts before purchasing them for your loved ones—and how to keep them safe!

Eliminate Any Potential for Choking Hazards

Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection by reputable companies, such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). ASTM International sets standards used by manufacturers worldwide to ensure consumer safety. It is important that these labels include information on how to care for the toy, including materials used in its construction and any special requirements such as age restrictions or cleaning. Some toys may need to be cleaned with soap and water; others cannot be placed in the dishwasher or washing machine because of their construction materials or design. If your child has allergies, look for “allergy safe” labels as well.

Purchase Nontoxic Toys

Avoid toys with lead paint in them! Lead can cause brain damage in children, so it’s important to make sure that they don’t chew on anything painted with it—especially rattles or teethers that are often put into little mouths! You can find out if a toy contains these chemicals by checking the manufacturer’s website or by looking for a manufacturing code on the product packaging.

Gifts of Sports Equipment Should Always be Accompanied by Protective Gear

If you’re purchasing a gift of sports equipment this month, remember to always accompany it with protective gear. Whether it’s a skateboard or even a football helmet, nothing can take the place of proper safety equipment.

Do NOT Give Toys with Small Parts

Small parts, such as beads and batteries, can be a choking hazard for children and should never be given to them. If you do give your child a toy with small parts, make sure it is age appropriate.

Avoid Purchasing Balloons for Small Children

Balloons are one of the most common choking hazards for children. Balloons can also be a suffocation hazard, a strangulation hazard, and even a poisoning hazard if swallowed. It is not just the latex balloons that are dangerous – foil balloons and mylar balloons are also risky for small children to play with.

Do NOT Give Crayons and Markers Unless They are Labeled “Nontoxic”

Make sure that the crayons and markers you buy are labeled “nontoxic.” Not all markers and crayons are safe, so be sure to read the label carefully. The tag will tell you whether it’s nontoxic or toxic. If this is confusing, look for crayons and markers without lead in them on the back of the package.

We hope that you learned from this article that there are many different ways to keep your child safe and happy. Toys are an important part of early childhood development, and as a happy consumer, it’s important that we all do our research before buying any product. This helps keep both the child and parent safe.

Henry Insurance Service is here to help you protect your family. For all your insurance needs, contact us here: