Mighty Blog

The importance of toy safety during a pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic means kids are spending more time learning and playing at home. Some children may be getting tired of some of their toys and hoping they get some new ones this holiday season. But, we want to make sure you’re buying your kids the right toys.

Dr. Gigi Chawla, chief of general pediatrics at Children’s Minnesota, gives families some tips to do just that.

How are kids playing differently during the pandemic?

With COVID-19, many of us are at home much more than we have been before. That means, kids are less likely to play with their friends and other kids their own age and instead, they’re playing with their older or younger siblings.

Many toys are made for different ages and developmental stages. So, if your child is playing with a toy that is too advanced for them, they could get bored or maybe hurt. Even a child who seems advanced compared to other kids should not use toys meant for older kids.

The Trouble in Toyland report helps parents and caregivers find toy hazards and helps keep kids safe.

Are there toys that could keep my kids entertained throughout COVID-19 and the winter?

This year, gifts that spark activity and creativity for a long period of time are a good option.

  • Outdoor ideas: Ice skates or sleds to get them outside in winter.
  • Indoor ideas: If it’s too cold, try LEGO, Play-Doh, or similar toys that can keep them entertained inside for hours.
  • Family ideas: Consider games, toys or activities the family can do together, such as puzzles, books or baking supplies.

How to safely buy toys online

  • When shopping for toys specifically on re-seller sites, check the Consumer Product Safety Commission website to make sure the toy you’re bringing home hasn’t already been recalled.
  • Watch for toys with small parts that can be a choking hazard. Most toys with small parts are labeled, but that’s not a guarantee.
  • Toys with magnets or button batteries can also be a choking hazard.

What else should people think about when buying holiday presents for kids?

With COVID-19, this has been a challenging year for families, some more than others. If you can, consider buying and donating toys to make the season brighter for all families.

Alexandra Rothstein