Guide to Buying Safe Baby Items

Whether you are buying a special baby gift for the new parent in your life, or an item for your own precious bundle, there are a few guidelines to follow to ensure that what you are buying is a safe choice.
1. Construction of the Item- Make sure the product is durable. Products made of wood, molded plastic, or non-toxic materials are a safe choice. Watch out for reinforced tails on stuffed animals and make sure toys don´t have buttons, yarn, ribbon or anything that could be taken off and placed in the child´s mouth and become a choking hazard.
2. Age Appropriate- Look at the manufacturer’s guidelines listed on the product and follow them.
3. Condition of the Product- New or slightly used items should be in good condition with no parts broken, or paint peeling. An item doesn’t have to be used to be in poor condition.
4. Size Appropriate- Compare the size of the toy to the size of the child. Make sure the child can’t be injured by the toy if the child drops it on himself.
5. Choking Hazards- At young ages, most children discover the world around them by putting everything in their mouths. Do not buy items that are smaller than the size of the child´s mouth until at least 3-years-old. If an item can fit through a paper towel roll, it is too small.
6. Magnets- In 2007, the Consumer Products Safety Commission named magnets the #1 hidden-home hazard. Avoid products with magnets. Small magnets can fall out of an item and be swallowed, causing intestinal problems if not discovered quickly.

These are just general guidelines. Always take a child’s specific needs and skills into consideration.