FAQS

WHAT CAN I DO TO BUY SAFE TOYS?

While the toy industry works year-round to ensure toy safety and encourage safe play, parents and caregivers play important roles as well.

The first step in making sure that every play date is a safe one is to purchase toys that are suitable for the age, abilities and interests of your child.

As a parent, you should always shop at a reputable retailer and check and follow age grading and other safety information on toy packaging. It’s also important to avoid toys with small parts when shopping for children under 3 (or for children who mouth toys) and to inspect products for sturdy parts and tightly secured joints before making your purchase.

Read the full list of safe shopping tips here.


WHAT DO I NEED TO KNOW ABOUT PLAYING SAFELY AT HOME?

Once you’ve arrived home from the store, there are a few things you can do to ensure safe play. Always follow instructions for toy assembly and save warranties and assembly hardware; supervise children as they play and teach older children to keep their toys away from younger siblings; and regularly sort through the toy box to discard (or repair) broken toys.

Read the full list of toy safety tips at home here.


ARE TOYS ON THE MARKET SAFE?

Toy safety is the number one priority for the toy industry and toys on the market are absolutely safe. Members of the toy industry work around the clock to design and manufacture toys and games that adhere to U.S. safety standards and regulations that are among the most stringent in the world. In fact, the toy industry worked alongside government and consumer representatives to develop the very first toy safety standards more than 30 years ago.

Read toy safety facts here.


SHOULD I PURCHASE EQUIPMENT TO TEST TOYS FOR SAFETY? HOW ARE TOYS TESTED FOR SAFETY?

Most shoppers would likely be surprised by all the safety-related work that goes on behind the scenes throughout the toy design, development, testing, production and delivery processes. It’s unnecessary to test toys on your own because toy companies use accredited testing engineers specifically trained in the rigorous U.S. toy safety requirements to test all products.

At-home testing results could be inaccurate and misleading. Sophisticated, reliable test methods are best left to professionals trained in the proper application of the toy requirements, use of the equipment and reading the results.

Read more about toy design and toy testing here.


SHOULD I AVOID ANY TOYS MADE IN CHINA? WON'T THAT BE SAFER FOR ME?

Keep in mind that it’s companies that make toys – not countries – and each company is responsible for adhering to the rigorous U.S. safety standards. All toys sold in America regardless of where they are made must conform to these standards; random on-site and off-site testing occurs in all manufacturing plants, in China and elsewhere. Toys are also randomly inspected before they are exported to the U.S.

Read more about toy testing around the world here.


WHAT IS THE ISSUE WITH MAGNETS IN TOYS? ARE MAGNETIC TOYS SAFE?

Magnets can provide a fun and educational component to a toy and federal standards are in place to assure that certain small, powerful magnets in children’s toys are not accessible to kids. However, kids might come into contact with these magnets, which are found in other, non-toy consumer products, which can cause serious injury if swallowed or inhaled. Be sure to keep these magnets out of reach of all children – especially those under age three.

Read more about magnets here.


SHOULD TOYS THAT CONTAIN BATTERIES BE AVOIDED?

There is a longstanding safety standard requiring that batteries in toys be made inaccessible to young children. Parents and caregivers must take an active role in assuring that batteries are kept out of reach from young children by re-engaging the locking mechanism on a toy when a battery is replaced and immediately discarding old batteries.

Read more about batteries here.