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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Choose Safe Toys This Holiday

Office of Communications

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. Keep your family’s holiday safe and fun by giving your child age-appropriate toys. Toys should be selected based upon the age, interest and skill level of the child. When selecting gifts this holiday season, keep these toy safety tips in mind:

For Younger Children:

  • Confirm toy is labeled appropriate for age group (ex. 0-3,3-6, 6-8)
  • Read all safety labels and warnings
  • Select sturdy toys: not fragile or easily broken
  • Select toys that are self-contained and battery operated, to reduce risk of electrical shock
  • Select toys without small parts or strings to avoid choking or strangulation
    • Avoid items easily placed in mouth:
      • Marbles, balloons, mini building blocks, bouncy balls, or items including button batteries, buttons and easily detachable eyes
    • Avoid items that include strings:
        • Kites, yoyos, toy paratroopers, and dolls with pull strings
        • Select toys that are stable: unable to easily fall on child
        • Select toys that are flame and mold resistant
    • Select toys without small holes or hinges that could trap or pinch little hands

    For Older Children:

    • Confirm toy is labeled appropriate for age group (8-12, 12+)
      • Avoid hobby and sports equipment designed for adults; select version of item appropriate for child’s age and skill level
      • Read all safety labels and warnings
      • Beware of sharp objects, cords, strings and fragile items
      • Avoid items that produce excessive noise that may damage the ear, or items that produce excessive heat that may cause burns
      • When selecting equipment such as bicycles, skates and skateboards, please be sure to provide the child with properly fitted protective gear- a helmet, elbow and knee pads.


    Be Safe: Practice Proper Use, Handling and Supervision

    • Provide proper supervision of child when using the toy to ensure proper handling/use
    • Discard all wrapping and packaging of the toy immediately after opening to avoid risk of choking or strangulation 
    • Read all safety and warning labels, assemble toy according to manufacturer’s instructions, and place play equipment in a safe environment free from obstructions and other hazards
    • Check all toys periodically for breakage or wear
    • Store toys safely to prevent falls or items falling on child or parent
    • Keep older child’s toys away from younger children to avoid choking and other hazards
    • Ensure the child is wearing proper protective gear for their activity
      • Helmet, knee and elbow pads, safety glasses, gloves, etc.