According to the CPSC, the top toy hazards include:
- Scooters and Riding Toys, including skateboards and inline skates, especially when kids don't wear helmets and other safety gear.
- Toys with Small Parts, including balls and marbles, all of which pose a choking hazard to children under age three. In addition to buying age-appropriate toys, you have to be careful when you have kids of different ages in the house, keeping younger siblings away from your older kids' toys, and making sure they don't leave toys with small parts laying around.
- Balloons, which can be broken or uninflated, both of which are a choking hazard to children under age 8.
- Magnets, which can be a choking hazard and can cause intestinal blockages and life-threatening injuries if the magnets are swallowed. Keep in mind that small magnets are often present in building sets and other toys.
- Battery chargers and adapters, which can cause injuries to children, including burns, when they are used without adult supervision.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has their own list of dangerous toys, including:
- home trampolines
- All Terrain Vehicles
- non-powder guns, including BB guns, pellet guns, and paintball guns
Loud Toys and Hearing Loss
In addition to falls, choking hazards, and other dangers from unsafe toys, you should also be on the lookout for loud toys. These toys can pose a danger to your child's hearing.
One of the biggest loud toys may be one that you never hear - your child iPod.
If your child is getting an iPod, iPhone, or other gizmo on which he can listen to music with headphones, you should be aware of the risk to your child's hearing. To be safe, set the maximum volume on your child's iPod to a limit where you can't hear any music when your child has the headphones in his ears. And set a password combination so that your child doesn't reset the maximum volume to a higher limit.
And even if your child's toys pass your initial safety inspection, you should regularly check them for broken parts, which can pose a choking hazard.
And make sure that they haven't been recalled.