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Toy safety: Do you know what to do during a recall?

child playing with toy truck

Children have a large number of toys and activities to choose from. They can also use a number of safety devices and tools, like high chairs and car seats, to keep them secure. As a parent, you want to know that the items your children use are safe for them and won’t cause injuries unexpectedly. Fortunately, most items are safe. However, there are some that are subjected to recalls because they create unnecessary or unexpected hazards that lead to serious injuries.

Toymakers in the United States have to follow mandatory safety rules and regulations called the ASTM F963. The Toy Association reviews these standards regularly to make sure they keep up with changes in child development research, risk assessment techniques and more.

What do you do if a toy is recalled?

If a toy is recalled, you shouldn’t panic. You should, however, take the toy away from your child right away and read over the recall. Recalls happen for all kinds of reasons, from realizing that parts could come loose and lead to choking to finding a single batch of toys with lead-based paint.

Parents need to return recalled products to the distributor (like a big box retail store) or to the company directly. What you need to do will be included in the recall.

What can you do to keep your child safer?

Since you can’t predict which toys will or won’t be recalled, remember to purchase toys that are:

  • UL Approved
  • Nontoxic
  • Age appropriate for your child to prevent accidents (like choking)
  • Identical to the manufacturer’s listed SKU or barcoded products. Checking the barcode may help you avoid buying a knockoff product
  • Stitched correctly. Look at the seams of products. If there is any damage, discard the toy

These are a few things to look for to see if a toy is safe. If you’re unsure, opt for larger toys with fewer parts, since these may be safer for younger children.

Everything from markers to wooden puzzle toys have been recalled in 2021 and early 2022. Keep up to date on current recalls and check your toy collection. That way, you can take away items that may pose a greater risk than they should to your children.