Toy Safety

The questions and answers in this brochure are designed to help you, as a parent, make healthy and safe choices for your children.

How should I choose safe toys for my young child?

Read labels. Always check toys and toy packages for warning labels. Be sure the toy is safe for the age of the child. Look for age suggestions on the package, such as “not recommended for children under 3.” Keep in mind the child’s interests and skill level. Safety stores offer a choke tube which serves as a great guide in selecting toy size.

What are some toys to avoid buying?

  • Toys made with breakable plastics and glass.
  • Toys with cords, strings and ribbons.
  • Toys with small parts (these can get stuck in ears, nose or throat).
  • Latex balloons. They can burst and get stuck in the throat. (Mylar balloons are fine.)
  • Toys with points and sharp edges.
  • Electrical toys for children under age 8.
  • Toys with strings, gears or hinged parts that could pinch tiny fingers.

Should I worry about toxic materials used on children’s toys?

It is important to make sure toys are painted with non-lead based and/or non-toxic finishes (safety rules began in 1978). Read the labels and look for toys labeled non-toxic. If in doubt, contact the Central Ohio Poison Control Center at 800-222-1222.

How can I prevent injury to my child from stumbling over toys?

Teach your children to put their toys away after play. This will reduce the chance of getting hurt or breaking toys. This is a good habit to learn at a young age. Be sure to praise you child after clean up time.

Are there any precautions for use of a baby pacifier?

Yes. If a pacifier looks worn, throw it away. Never hang a pacifier around a baby’s neck. The string or cord can get tangled around the neck and choke or strangle the baby.

Toy Safety Brochure (PDF)

For more information, visit:

Center for Injury and Research Policy Toy Safety