It’s that time of year again! The holidays are beginning for many families, and the rush is on to find that perfect gift. Whether you’ve gotten all of the presents long ago, or you are still in the “research” phase, it’s a good idea to have safety a priority in addition to fun.

Getting presents for kids can be really easy, or quite tricky. You have to think about age appropriateness, trends, components, to name a few considerations. Not sure what to do? It’s okay, here are few tips.

Tips for All, and to All a Good Night

Why is it important keep in mind the ages of the kids you are giving gifts to? Well, in 2015 there were 254,200 toy related injuries among children under the age of 15! Accidents unfortunately do happen. However, keeping mind these tips for each age can help with bringing joy to all this season!

Babies, Toddlers, Preschool Age

This is a major time for development in many ways. Kids learn a lot quickly and by experience. They are very curious, and while it is a very good thing, it may sometimes get them unfortunate situations. Luckily, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission established a standard for toys produced or imported.

These include:

  • Fabric must be flame resistant or retardant
  • Stuffed toys be washable
  • Anything painted must be lead free
  • Art things are to be non-toxic
  • “ASTM D-4236” on packaging of crayons and paint

As you may know, also watch out for small pieces and anything breakable. Toys at least 1.25” in diameter and 2” long, or round objects 1.75” and up are large enough to not get lodged in the windpipe. Keeping an eye out for these will help the little ones stay happy and healthy.

School Age

At this age, kids are developing at different rates. And while your kid may be more advanced than his or her peers, it is important to still understand that the safety information on a toy is there for a reason.

Popular toys at this age include bicycles and skateboards, darts, games, and toy guns. When it comes to bicycles and such, remind them to always wear a helmet and the appropriate safety gear, even if they are reluctant to wear it. Darts and arrows should not have sharp points, and toy guns should be brightly colored so as to not be mistaken for real weapons; kids should be taught to never point these toys at anyone.

Keep in mind that at this age kids are tempted by non-toys. These can be very dangerous. Make sure that anything like matches, fireworks, knives, etc. are stored securely and out of reach, while also reviewing with the children the consequences of touching what they shouldn’t.

That’s a Wrap!

Time for the exciting part: opening the gifts! Once you’ve chosen the right gifts, just make sure any younger siblings don’t get their hands on older siblings toys which may pieces they shouldn’t touch (like small pieces of board games). With keeping an eye on the above standards though, you will be better equipped for this holiday season. Now remember, it is a time of joy and giving, so enjoy!