National Consumers League


NCL Health Issues

Top ten toy safety tips

attention open in a new window

Ten steps to fun and safe play

  1. When shopping for toys, keep in mind the child’s age, interests, and abilities.
  2. Read toy or packaging labels for age ranges and safety warnings.
  3. Look at labels on toys.  Be especially careful when choosing toys for children under three.  Select toys that are free of small pieces (or pieces that separate or can be broken off), have no sharp edges or points and are non-toxic.
  4. At home, carefully read instructions for assembly and use.  Keep product literature in case of future questions and complete warranty cards.
  5. Remove and discard all packaging from a toy before giving it to a baby or small child.
  6. Consider the home environment in which a child will play with a toy and younger children who may be there.  A toy intended for an older child may be dangerous in the hands of a younger one.  Store these toys separately.
  7. Supervise children when they play and set good examples of safe play.
  8. Remind caregivers, including grandparents, of play-related safety concerns.
  9. Choose a safe storage place for toys.
  10. Check toys at least every three months to determine their safety.  Make any repairs immediately or throw away damaged toys. Check for recalls at the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Web site: