In a world filled with colorful and enticing toys, ensuring your child’s safety is extremely important. While most parents diligently pay attention to the warnings on toy packaging, the risks associated with some toys go beyond what meets the eye. Today we’ll shed light on the often overlooked aspects of toy safety, exploring potential dangers in both handcrafted and store-bought toys that might not be immediately obvious.

Understanding the Risks

Safety warnings are a crucial aspect of the toy industry, serving as guidelines for parents to understand potential hazards. However, these warnings primarily address common risks such as small parts, choking hazards, and age-appropriate usage. To truly protect your child, a more comprehensive approach to toy safety is necessary, which extends beyond the labels and disclaimers.

Handcrafted Toys: A Hidden Dilemma

Handcrafted toys often have unique charm and individuality, making them popular choices among parents seeking something special for their children. However, the allure of these toys can sometimes overlook safety considerations. Unlike mass-produced toys that adhere to stringent safety standards, handcrafted toys may lack the same level of scrutiny.

When evaluating handcrafted toys, pay attention to the following:

  1. Materials Used: Handcrafted toys may incorporate various materials and it’s essential to check that they are non-toxic and free from harmful chemicals. Look for toys made from natural, sustainable materials that have been tested for safety.
  2. Small Parts and Choking Hazards: Handcrafted toys may not undergo the same rigorous testing for small parts as commercially produced toys. Inspect each toy carefully for small components that could pose a choking risk, especially for younger children.
  3. Craftsmanship: While the craftsmanship of handcrafted toys adds to their appeal, it can also introduce safety concerns. Check for rough edges, splinters, or any protruding parts that could cause injury.

Store-Bought Toys: Beyond the Labels

Even when purchasing toys from reputable stores, it’s crucial to go beyond the labels and warnings. Manufacturers strive to create safe products, but unforeseen dangers can still be within seemingly harmless toys. 

Consider the following factors when assessing the safety of store-bought toys:

  1. Chemicals and Toxins: Mass-produced toys are often made from a variety of materials, some of which may contain harmful chemicals. Prioritize toys labeled as BPA-free, phthalate-free, and lead-free. Research the manufacturing practices of the toy company to ensure adherence to safety standards.
  2. Durability: Regular wear and tear can compromise the structural integrity of toys. Inspect toys for signs of damage, including sharp edges, loose parts, or weakened materials. A seemingly harmless toy can become hazardous if it breaks during play.
  3. Electronic Components: Many modern toys feature electronic components, such as lights and sound. These components must be securely enclosed and the toy must meet the safety standards for electronic devices. Loose batteries or exposed wires can pose serious risks.

Safe Baby Toys: Prioritizing Infant Safety

When it comes to babies, toy safety takes on added significance. Infants explore the world through their mouths, making it crucial to choose toys that are not only entertaining but also safe for mouthing. 

Make sure to think of the following when choosing these toys for babies:

  1. Size and Shape: Opt for toys that are too large to be swallowed or get lodged in an infant’s throat. Round edges are preferable to prevent injuries and avoid toys with small parts that could be detached and pose a choking hazard.
  2. Soft and Washable: Babies have a tendency to explore with all their senses, including taste. Choose soft toys that are easy to clean, as they are likely to end up in your baby’s mouth. Ensure that fabrics are non-toxic and free from harmful dyes.
  3. Age-Appropriate: Always adhere to the recommended age range provided by the manufacturer. Age guidelines consider developmental milestones and potential risks associated with a child’s cognitive and physical abilities.

Whether exploring the world of handcrafted toys or selecting store-bought options, meticulous evaluation of materials, craftsmanship, and potential risks is key. Prioritize safe baby toys that align with developmental stages and consistently inspect toys for wear and tear.

In the quest for the perfect toy, remember that safety should never be an afterthought but a major piece of the decision-making process. By going beyond the warnings and proactively assessing toy safety, parents can provide an environment where children can play and explore with confidence. After all, the joy of play should always be accompanied by the assurance of safety.

At Coastal Kids Pediatrics, our mission is to ensure the best possible health and safety for your child. We understand that it can sometimes be difficult to assess whether a toy is safe or not. So, if you ever have any questions or concerns about toy safety, or would like recommendations for safe toys for babies, don’t hesitate to ask your knowledgeable Coastal Kids Pediatrician. To make an appointment, visit us at