Santa’s Guide to Toy Buying

Santa’s Guide to Toy Buying

North Pole Safety Secrets: A Guide to a Merry and Safe Holiday Season

Ho, ho, ho! Greetings, wonderful parents and caregivers! It’s your jolly old friend Santa Claus, and I’m here with my Santa’s Guide to Toy Buying for a safe and merry holiday season. December is not just about decking the halls; it’s also Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month, declared by my pals at Prevent Blindness America. We want to ensure that the gifts under your tree bring joy and safety to all the good little boys and girls.

Now, I’ve been delivering toys for centuries, so you can trust Santa’s expertise when it comes to choosing the right toys for your little ones. Here are my magical tips, straight from the North Pole:

Preventative measures keep the doctor and emergency room away

Before you check out online or at your local toy store, take a moment and assess if the toys you are buying are safe and age appropriate.  The American Academy of Pediatrics offers 10 tips for buying toys:

  1. Reading all safety labels and instructions. Warning labels give important information about how to correctly use a toy and for what ages the toy is safe. Show your child how to correctly use the toy the right way.
  2. Think LARGE. To avoid choking hazards, make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth.
  3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. They can cause serious eye injuries or can cause choking if swallowed.
  4. Avoid toys that are loud to prevent damage to your child’s hearing. See 10 Tips to Preserve Your Child’s Hearing during the Holidays.
  5. Look for stuffed toys that are well made. Make sure all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
  6. Buy sturdy plastic toys. Buy Sturdy- toys made from thin plastic may break easily with sharp edges.
  7. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”
  8. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.
  9. Electric toys should be “UL Approved.” Check the label to be sure.
  10. Be careful when buying crib toys. Soft objects, loose bedding, or any objects that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation and should be kept out of the crib. Any hanging crib toy (mobiles, crib gyms) should be out of your baby’s reach and must be removed when your baby first begins to push up on their hands and knees or when the baby is 5 months old, whichever occurs first. These toys can strangle a baby.

Additional Tips 

Always ensure children wear helmets with riding toys.

  • When buying bikes or scooters, also purchase safety accessories like knee pads.
  • Be mindful in homes with various age groups to prevent age-inappropriate toy use.
  • Set clear rules to avoid mishaps, especially with small toys and younger siblings.  No one wants the baby playing with big brother’s legos!

Alert on Recalled Toys:

  • Stay informed about recalls from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) to protect your family from dangerous toys.
  • Remove any recalled toys immediately from your home.
  • If you suspect lead exposure, consult your child’s doctor for blood lead level testing.

At the North Pole, we’re all about spreading joy and safety during the holiday season. I wish you and your family a magical, safe, and ho-ho-happy holiday!

With your child’s well-being always a priority in Santa’s heart, I want to gently remind you to schedule any missed appointments, especially those essential well-child checkups that play a vital role in keeping our little ones strong. Pay a visit to your welcoming and caring pediatricians at Central North Alabama Health Services, Inc’s Family Health Centers! Ho, ho, ho, Merry Christmas!

Additional Resources

Recall Website of United States Consumer Product Safety Commission:

Safety Toy Checklist by Prevent Blindness:

Safety Tips by Child & Family Services: