If you’re doing your holiday shopping predominantly online this year, it’s important to be particularly careful when buying toys and other gifts for children. When you can’t see, feel and hear them for yourself, you may miss some potential dangers.
Even when you buy toys in a store, their risks may not be readily apparent. Let’s look at some popular items that can be dangerous in young hands.
Gifts to avoid
Toys that contain small magnets: Whether they’re on the outside or inside of a toy, if a child swallows them, they can cause severe internal damage.
Slime: Slime kits are very popular, and can be a great way to promote creativity. However, some types of slime are made with boron, which is toxic. Pay attention to the ingredients in any slime you buy, or you can make your own using safe ingredients.
Toys with small parts: These can be choking hazards for kids who are still young enough to enjoy putting everything in their mouths. A good rule of thumb is that if a part can fit through a cardboard toilet paper tube, it could get stuck in your child’s throat. “Hatching” dinosaur, unicorn and other eggs are examples of potentially dangerous toys for this reason.
Loud toys: As aggravating as these can be for parents, they can damage a child’s hearing. Even musical toys can be dangerously loud. If a toy is too loud for you as an adult, it’s definitely too loud for your child’s ears.
Make-up: Safety experts recommend not buying makeup (play or otherwise) for children. Definitely avoid makeup that contains talc. There have been instances of traces of asbestos being found in the talc used in makeup marketed to girls.
If you read the ingredients, age guidelines and warnings on any toy or other gift you buy this year, you can make smarter choices. Be especially careful if you buy used toys or re-gift some of your older children’s toys they no longer use, as they may have been recalled for safety issues. It’s also essential to be careful about giving kids gifts like fidget spinners that are made for adults.
If your child is harmed by a product that did not include appropriate warnings or age guidelines or that was defective in some way, talk to an attorney about your legal options for holding the manufacturer and potentially other parties liable.