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Operation: donate safe Christmas toys

Five ways to tell if a toy is safe

Donating toys can spread joy to children less fortunate. If your church is hosting a toy drive this Christmas, make sure the donations are safe and fun. Likewise, if members donate toys to your children’s ministry, accept gifts that are not hazardous to little ones. When giving or receiving, look for these five indicators that a toy is safe for a child.

  • Labels with age recommendations. Some toys are recommended for older children because the parts involved may be hazardous to younger children. Make sure the labels match the children playing with the toys.

  • No cords or strings for infants. Strings, cords, ribbons and yarn can all be wrapped around a very young child's neck and cause strangulation.

  • No small parts for children under three. Younger children can choke on small parts, such as eyes or a nose of a teddy bear, or small board game pieces. Sixty-five percent of reported product-related deaths in 2010 were associated with small balls, game parts and balloons, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

  • No electric toys for children under age eight. Electric trains, motorized scooters and powered riding toys may be appropriate for children age eight or older, but they require supervision. Electrical toys may overheat, spark and/or shock children.

  • No sharp edges or points. Avoid new or used toys that are broken or have sharp edges, points or exposed wires.

For more help keeping your church safe this Christmas, read Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas.


This article is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice. Readers should use this article as a tool, along with best judgment and any terms or conditions that apply, to determine appropriate safety precautions for programs and activities.