5 Toys to Avoid This Holiday

kids toys, child safety
Does this doll make the toy safety cut?

All of the toy recalls in the past few years, over things like cadmium and lead, can leave parents feeling somewhat overwhelmed when figuring out what to give kids for the holidays. I mean, those handmade wooden toys from Germany? Sure, that would be nice. But then there’s the holiday budget, which would leave room for a marble run and, perhaps, one and a half silk scarves. Won’t cut it!

But the LA Times has come up with a few guidelines on buying safe toys. Here are the basics, but the whole article gives you a better idea of why.

1. Avoid buying costume jewelry. Period. (My tip: mention this to the grandparents!)

2. Avoid vinyl products (labeled as PVC).

3. Don’t buy brightly colored plastics when purchasing items that a young child might put in his or her mouth. (Wow. That’s huge and rules out, well, a lot of items). If that leaves you hopeless, read No. 4

4. Check out items on and That should help you get more confidence in what you do buy.

5. When buying textile items, avoid “azo dyes.”

Unfortunately, since these [azo dyes] chemicals are not regulated, the best way to avoid them is to select toys made of wood and natural products, or toys that bear eco-labels, which are becoming more widespread.

There are also the choking hazards warnings, but experts say to also look out for pieces that are just slightly bigger than regulation choking hazards.

I find avoiding choking hazards has become particularly challenging with more than one kid. Each subsequent child of mine has been exposed to gobs more choking hazards than my first and I’ll admit we’ve become a little less stringent.

What about you? What’s off your list this year for kids’ presents?


When Savers are Forced to Spend for the Holidays

Mark Zuckerberg’s Obscene Policy

1o Books for Your Christmas Wish List

Hospital Visitation Policy to Soon be Humane

When Geeks Over Think the Holidays

Real Pro Cheerleaders (With PhDs!) Encourage Girls in Science

Bill Nye the Science Guy Collapses

Jimmy Kimmel on National Unfriend Day

6 Survival Tips for Kate Middleton

A Teacher’s Subtle Sexism

No Such Thing as “Oops!” Pregnancies

10 Common Myths About Adoption

Revolt Against TSA … Will You?

Cindy McCain Blames Her Husband for Gay Suicides

Healthy French Fry? Um, Not Really.

9 Subversive Bedtime Stories

Would Gross Pictures Keep you From Smoking?

More Naked Pregnant Women. And That is Good.

Dear Erica Jong: We Parent in a Vacuum, Not a Prison

Do Writer Moms Owe Their Kids More Privacy?

Squinkies? What are Squinkies?

Kids Mental Health Break? It’s Called the Weekend

My Son is Gay

Article Posted 6 years Ago
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
share this article
facebook twitter tumblr pinterest
See Comments
what do you think?
what do you think?
close comments
Subscribe to the
Follow us on