As the song goes, “You better watch out. You better not cry. Better not pout. I’m telling you why. Santa Claus is coming to town.” Saint Nick’s big night is quickly approaching. He’s making his list and checking it twice.
Which list you ask? His toy safety list, of course. How else would Santa make sure he has the perfect gift for each girl and boy? He’s kindly provided us with his pro tips from the North Pole as we work on buying the perfect gift for everyone on our gift lists. Check out a few of Kris Kringle’s toy safety tips below:
- Buy Age-Appropriate Toys – Check the label before buying to make sure the gift recipient can safely handle the toy. Avoid toys with small parts – think anything with parts that can fit through a toilet paper tube – for children younger than age 3, including fidget spinners and small bouncy balls. Keep deflated balloons from children younger than age 8 and avoid sharp edges or points on toys.
- Check For Toxins – Toys can contain elevated levels of lead and even asbestos. A recent study from U.S. PIRG Education FUND, a nonprofit that works to protect consumer interests, tested fidget spinners from Target and found two distributed by i Toy LLC “contained extremely high levels of lead,” which can negatively impact physical and cognitive development.
- Think Twice About High-Powered Magnets – Though they may look like a fun time for children, high-powered magnet sets should be kept away from those younger than age 14. These magnets can attach to each other inside a child’s body if they are swallowed and can cause internal perforations. “These aren’t like normal magnets. If they’re swallowed, they can cause serious, lifelong injuries or even death,” said William Wallace, policy analyst for Consumers Union, the policy and mobilization division of Consumer Reports.
- Ride Safely – Make sure you have the right size helmets and safety gear for children who are receiving bikes, scooters, skateboards, skates and hoverboards. Ensure they are worn properly.
- Beware of Explosive Batteries – Lithium ion batteries have exploded in devices such as smartphones, electronic cigarettes and hoverboards. Using a third-party charger could increase the risk of a device exploding. Be sure to keep the batteries out of the reach of children.
- Fly Drones Safely – Just like with a sleigh, flying a drone makes you a pilot under Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) regulations. Always fly a drone below 400 feet and keep it within your line of sight. Don’t fly over groups of people, stadiums, sports events, near emergency response efforts or other aircraft. For additional drone safety information visit, the FAA’s unmanned aircraft page.
As this list shows, all the toys from Santa’s workshop are held to the highest quality standards, and the rest of us must take precautions to make sure our Christmas gifts bring nothing but joy, too. Check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s website for recalled toys and additional product safety information.
Consumer Product Safety Commission
U.S. PIRG Education FUND
Federal Aviation Administration