8 Tips to Help You Pick Out Safe Christmas Gifts for Kids

December 13, 2016 by

With the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, your to-do and shopping lists can quickly get long and complicated. Even so, it’s never worth it to sacrifice safety when shopping for gifts. Especially if you have children to shop for on your Christmas shopping list, you need to seek out and purchase toys and other gifts that are safe and durable.

Product safety recalls are on the rise, and too many toys are produced cheaply and quickly to satisfy the expectations of price-conscious consumers. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is the government body that regulates and monitors any toys sold (whether they’re manufactured domestically or imported) in the United States.

The CPSC sets certain safety standards for consumer products, and all toys sold in stores must comply with them. However, like any regulatory agency, the CPSC isn’t perfect and can’t catch every flaw in a product, so it’s still a good idea to be a conscious consumer and do your own research before buying toys for the children in your life.

Safe Toys: What You Should Look for

Trying to find the perfect toy to give as a holiday gift seems hard enough without worrying about safety. If you learn what to look for in terms of product safety, though, you’ll eventually be able identify safe gifts easily and without devoting a lot of extra energy to the process. To get you started, here are eight general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for children of all ages.

  1. Toys with fabric or stuffing should be flame-resistant or flame-retardant, washable, and free of lead-based paint. Avoid giving stuffed animals or other toys that were purchased or won at a carnival or vending machine, as they rarely abide by the safety standards set by the CPSC.
  2. Art materials should be non-toxic.
  3. When it comes to toys that produce sound, be cautious of the noise level. If the toy is too loud then it could damage hearing, especially if’s a toy that the child might hold close to their ear.
  4. Battery-operated toys should have a secure battery compartment that is attached with screws or difficult for a child to unlatch. These types of toys should also have an “On-Off” setting.
  5. Choose a toy that is age-appropriate for the child. Toys with small pieces and parts are never a good idea for babies and toddlers, who might put them in their mouths. Avoid magnets as well, since these can be especially dangerous if swallowed.
  6. Use your instinct for safety and avoid toys that don’t seem to be made to a high standard or attached to a reputable brand name. These toys can be difficult to trace back to the manufacturer and may not meet safety standards.
  7. Check to see if there is a product recall on a toy before you purchase it. You can always check for recalls through the federal government’s website at Recalls.gov, but you can also visit consumer websites that are geared specifically toward child safety. The recall finder tool at Parents.com is one good example of such a site. A manufacturer generally won’t issue a recall unless the product poses an unacceptable risk according to the CPSC, so it’s important to take recalls very seriously. If you buy a toy and then it is recalled, follow the instructions for the recall right away and then purchase an alternative gift.
  8. Be wary of hand-me-downs or older toys that are purchased at estate sales, garage sales, or thrift stores. These toys can seem like tempting gift options because of their nostalgic value and cost-effectiveness, but they may not meet contemporary safety, especially if they were made prior to 1995. If you do choose to gift an older toy, evaluate it very carefully and with a critical eye; inspect the edges and cleanliness to ensure it is not broken or cracked (or splintered in the case of wooden toys) and look for any potential safety risk for a child.

The holiday season is a joyous time for many families, and gift-giving is one way we express love and gratitude for one another. It’s always fun and gratifying to see a child’s face light up when they receive an exciting new toy, and if you follow these tips, you’ll feel secure knowing that you’ve given them the gift of safety as well. Happy holidays and safe tidings from Hossley & Embry.

Hossley & Embry: Experienced in Product Liability Cases

Unfortunately, not every dangerous product is recalled before it harms someone, and even the savviest and most careful consumer can’t spot every hidden defect in a product. Often, recalls are only issued after innocent people have suffered the consequences of negligent product design or manufacturing. If you or someone you love has been injured (or worse) due to a defective or inherently dangerous product, your family deserves justice and may be entitled to compensation for your losses.

Our team of attorneys at Hossley & Embry have years of experience handling defective product cases, and we are proud to represent victims who have suffered due to the negligence. We never hesitate to stand up and fight for the rights of our clients in court, whether they’ve been harmed by an individual person or a large corporation.

If you or a loved one has been injured by a dangerous product, please call (866) 522-9265 or fill out our convenient online contact form to set up your free consultation. We have the resources available, including charter aircraft, to travel throughout Texas and the United States on short notice to investigate your potential claim.