Millions of toys are out there, and hundreds of new ones hit the stores each year. Toys are supposed to be fun and are an important part of any child’s development. But each year, scores of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Choking is a particular risk for kids ages 3 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouth.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:
Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
Stuffed toys should be washable.
Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
Art materials should say nontoxic.
Crayons and paints should say ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.