Whether your baby's toy is new, homemade, or a hand-me-down,
it should not only be fun, but safe, too. All toys should be
checked frequently for loose or broken parts.
What to look for:
- Always follow all manufacturers' age recommendations.
Some toys have small parts that can cause choking, so heed all
warnings on a toy's packaging.
- Check to see if the toy has been recalled by the Consumer
Product Safety Commission (CPSC).
- Make sure the toy is unbreakable and has no sharp edges. It
should be large enough that it can't be swallowed or lodged
in the throat.
- It shouldn't have any small parts such as eyes, wheels,
or buttons that can be pulled loose, and it should be strong
enough to withstand chewing.
- There should be no parts that could become pinch points for
- There shouldn't be strings longer than 7 inches (18
- Hand-me-down and homemade toys should be carefully evaluated.
They may not have undergone testing for safety. Do not give your
infant painted toys made before 1978; they may have paint that
- Stuffed animals and other toys that are sold or given away at
carnivals, fairs, and in vending machines are not required to
meet safety standards. Check carnival toys carefully for loose
parts and sharp edges before giving them to your infant.
Never give balloons or latex gloves to a child younger than age 8.
A child who is blowing up or chewing on a balloon or gloves can
choke by inhaling them. Inflated balloons pose a risk because they
can pop without warning and be inhaled. In addition,
give your infant vending machine toys, which often contain small
Kate M. Cronan, MD
Date reviewed: November 2007
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice,
diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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