Toy Safety Tips

Toxics, choking, privacy and other dangers to avoid

When you go shopping for toys for your favorite kids, use this guide to help find safe toys and avoid safety hazards.



Our annual investigations into dangerous toys have uncovered high levels of lead and other toxics, choking hazards, loud noises that cause hearing damage, and smart toys that could reveal private information. But a careful shopper can help avoid some of these risks, keeping the children in their life safer.




Toy Safety Tips

When you go shopping for toys for your favorite kids, use this guide to help find safe toys and avoid safety hazards.

Toys with sound

What to watch for If a toy is too loud for you, it could be loud enough to damage your child’s hearing. Turn off the sound, remove batteries or return the toy.


What to watch for Some slimes contain high levels of toxic boron. Consider making safe alternatives without borax, or monitor kids at all times and call Poison Control if any is ingested.

Fidget spinners and toys marketed to adults

What to watch for Some things, such as fidget spinners or kids’ makeup, are not classified as toys, avoiding safety standards. These products could have higher levels of lead, choking hazards and other hidden dangers. Avoid these “toys,” or at a minimum watch your kid closely when playing with them.

Toys with small parts

What to watch for Toys marketed to 6 and above may contain small parts that pose choking hazards for younger children. Look for age guidelines. Before your child plays with a toy for the first time, see if smaller parts fit through a toilet paper roll—indicating they pose a choking hazard. Watch our video to learn how.

“Hatching” Toys

What to watch for Toys with break-apart packaging can result in choking hazards for small children. Monitor when the packaging is being broken and dispose of the pieces.


What to watch for Never let a child under three play with balloons, and monitor any child under 8, as balloons are the #1 choking hazard for children.

Smart Toys

What to watch for Sites, apps, games and smart toys might be collecting private data from your child, and some could be hacked, posing a safety risk. Consider running these without connections to the internet, evaluate privacy policies when you first start them, and monitor use. Check out this guide for more info.


What to watch for We found asbestos in Claire’s makeup last year. As makeup lacks necessary safety standards, we recommend you avoid makeup for children, or at a minimum avoid any makeup with talc in it, which can be a source of asbestos.

Toys with small magnets

What to watch for Swallowed magnets can cause serious internal damage by bunching together. Keep away from young children and monitor older children when they are playing with toys containing magnets.

Used and older toys

What to watch for Check to ensure the toy wasn’t recalled due to potential toxics or other hazards.


Age ratings and safety labels shown on websites may not match the labels on the toys. Make sure to examine the actual packaging when the products arrive.