Guidelines for buying toys for the holidays

The U.S. Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs) has created a list of tips for consumers with recommendations on purchasing safe toys. Parents, grandparents and friends should pay special attention when purchasing toys for children under the age of 4 because they are at high risk for toy-related injuries.

Children under the age of 4 are have the highest rate of choking deaths but small children are also injured in falls, strangulation, drowning, and burns when playing with unsafe toys.

Toy Hazards

Choking Hazards

Choking is the most common cause of toy-related fatalities. Approximately 41 children in the past five years have died due to aspirating or choking on toys such as balloons, toys or toy parts.
It is recommend that consumers avoid purchasing any toy or toy part that could pass through a toilet paper tube because of the it may be a potential choking hazard.

Small children should never be given small balls or balloons as they can block a child’s airway.

Toys with Magnets

Many of today’s toys are built with powerful and small magnets. Magnets can be especially hazardous when swallowed especially if a child swallows more than one. There have been cases where magnets in a child’s stomach or intestines attract each other and cause life-threatening injuries.


Small batteries can be hazardous to children especially if they are swallowed because the battery acid can cause serious and sometimes fatal injuries.

Loud Toys

Children’s ears are very sensitive and loud toys can cause permanent ear damage and cause hearing loss. Avoid toys that are loud.

Strangulation Hazards

Consumers should be especially wary of clothing that have drawstrings on the hood which can get caught on playground equipment and strangle a child. Crib mobiles can cause a strangulation hazard as well as cords longer than one foot.

Toys with Toxic Chemicals

Consumers should be wary of older toys and play cosmetics with xylene, toluene or dibutyl phthalate.

For more information in Toy Safety, see the PIRG’s Trouble in Toyland web-site.

This information is provided by Washington Injury Attorney blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have suffered serious injury due defective consumer products.

Washington state has a Products Liability Act which allows an injured person to recover damages if a product was unreasonably dangerous.

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Contact The Farber Law Group at 1-800-244-9087 or to schedule a free and confidential case evaluation. We have offices in Seattle and Bellevue to assist you.