Holiday Toy Safety Tips for Kids

Disclosure :: This post is sponsored by Ochsner Health and written by Dr. Truc Dinh.

Holiday Toy Safety Tips for Kids

What Holiday toys should I avoid?

Toys are a lot of fun for children during the holidays but can also bring the potential for injuries or death. Whether you’re making a list of gifts for your children or planning to give to others, parents need to be on guard for potential toy hazards. Here are some steps and recommendations parents should consider when purchasing toys to keep children safe:

  • If a small toy or parts of toys that break off can fit entirely into a toilet paper tube, it is a potential choking hazard.
  • Avoid toys with many parts that can become choking hazards, especially for young children. It only takes a second for a child to swallow a small piece of plastic and choke.
  • Keep magnetic toys and button batteries away from young children. The acid can cause fatal internal injuries. If a child swallows a battery, seek immediate medical attention in an emergency room or urgent care.
  • Bikes, skateboards, roller-skates, and other outdoor favorites should always come with proper safety equipment. It’s great for a child to be physically active, but make sure they’re doing it safely. Always include safety equipment (helmets, knee pads, elbow pads) as a part of the gift.
  • Read the recommended age label on the packaging and inspect the toy, especially if this gift was from someone else. Sometimes what we think we are buying is not exactly what’s in the box. Examining it is the best way to determine if the toy is safe.
  • Stay away from certain chemicals such as phthalates, lead or heavy metals, which can affect organs and systems in the human body, especially the central nervous system. Toys and children’s jewelry can sometimes contain lead. Choose toys labeled “phthalate-free” or cloth or unpainted wooden toys instead.
  • Read the labels of play cosmetics and avoid products with xylene, toluene, or phthalates.
  • Make sure toys meant for older children are not accessible to younger children. What’s for an older child can be extremely harmful to a younger sibling. Keeping an eye on the younger children and making sure toys are separated is the best way to keep everyone safe.
  • Screen time outside of video chatting is not recommended for children under 2. For those over 2, no more than an hour a day is recommended.
  • Take your time when shopping. Consider if what you’re buying is age-appropriate. Very young children shouldn’t have balloons or toys with strings, ribbons or straps because these could strangle a child.
  • Remind your friends and family about what is age-appropriate for your child. If your child is gifted something that is not safe for them at their current age, put it away for later or give it away to an older child if you’re unable to return it to the store.

We all love to see children have a great time during the holidays, but please keep these safety tips in mind to ensure that your family has a truly happy holiday!

Learn more about Dr. Truc Dinh and Pediatrics at Ochsner Health.

Dr. Truc DinhDr. Truc Dinh received her medical degree from Howard University College of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and completed her internship and residency at Our Lady of the Lake Children’s Hospital in Baton Rouge, LA. She is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and she has been on staff at Ochsner since October 2020. Dr. Dinh enjoys photography, hiking, and camping in her free time.

Ochsner Health
As southeast Louisiana’s largest nonprofit, academic, multispecialty healthcare delivery system, Ochsner owns, manages or is affiliated with 30 hospitals and more than 80 health centers across the region, all connected electronically to provide convenience and the best possible care for our patients.


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