In addition to choosing a toy that is fun and stimulating, parents need to make sure a toy is age-appropriate and safe. Check for the following with every new gift, swap, or purchase.

Check to see that the toy...

___ Is sturdy or appears to have a safe construction

___ Has a nontoxic paint or finish

___ Is washable

Also, make sure it doesn't have...

___ Small parts or possible choking hazards

___ Jagged or rusty edges

___ Strings, cords, or ribbons longer than 6 inches

___ Loud sounds to damage baby's hearing

Excerpted from the Ages & Stages weekly baby newsletter, Week 24.

Originally published on, April 2006.

All content here, including advice from doctors and other health professionals, should be considered as opinion only. Always seek the direct advice of your own doctor in connection with any questions or issues you may have regarding your own health or the health of others.

American Baby