It seems like “Black Friday” sales started before Halloween was over. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers have begun offering “deep discounts” on a whole range of products. It’s only natural that parents feel compelled to start their holiday shopping early.
With everything seemingly more expensive than ever, it’s understandable that you want to look for bargains when it comes to toys and other gifts for your kids. However, it’s crucial to know that what you’re buying for your child (or someone else’s) is safe and appropriate for their age.
Let’s look at a few tips to help you do your best to ensure that your gift will bring joy and not cause harm:
Read labels carefully
Make sure you’re getting a name brand and not a bargain knock-off. This isn’t a guarantee of safety, but it improves your chances of not getting a poorly made product that may not be properly manufactured or tested.
Pay attention to the age recommendations. No matter how mature you think your child is, these recommendations are often there for safety reasons. An item could have small parts that a young child could swallow. One rule of thumb is that a toy and its parts should be larger than your child’s mouth.
Be careful with electric and battery-operated toys
Many toys use small “button” batteries that are easily swallowed. These and small magnets can be particularly harmful if they end up inside your child. Make sure that any electric toy you buy has the UL approval certification.
Be sure the toy is sturdy
A plastic toy that can break apart can leave behind multiple small, sharp pieces that are dangerous. Even the simplest stuffed toy can have small objects inside that are dangerous if they’re swallowed.
Note: This goes for pet toys as well. If your dog can shred a stuffed animal and get to the squeaker within seconds, that’s not safe for them or any young kids in the house.
Watch for recalls
It’s also wise to keep an eye out for recalls. If something you bought shows up on a recall list, follow the instructions for returning it and getting a refund.
Unfortunately, some recalls only happen after someone has been harmed by a defective product. If that’s what you’re dealing with, it’s wise to seek legal guidance as soon as possible.