Understanding Toy Safety

Updated: Aug 24

As a play-based program, Nihao School's learning environment has toys, equipment, and supplies that stimulate learning and build meaningful relationships through exploration. Nihao School inspects the toys regularly for hazards and notes the ones that may cause injuries based on the way children play with them. We like to pass down some helpful resources for you to inspect and select safe toys for your child.


Thanks to the decades of work by product safety advocates, parents, the leadership of Congress, state legislatures, and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toys are safer than ever before. There are still, however, toys with potential choking hazards, too much lead that exceed federal standards, data-collection features that may violate children's privacy laws, and with little or no labeling that parents and daycare providers must watch out for. Think about where you typically get your toys from. Is it a pass down, from second-hand market places, group buy sites that carry an overseas catalog, or birthday parties?


Consider the following red flags before you add these toys to your child's collections.

  • Lead: even low levels of lead in blood have been shown to undermine IQ, attentiveness, and academic achievement.

  • Small Parts: toys with pieces that might block a child's airway may not have a warning label if they are not inspected by CPSC.

  • Balloons: these are common party toys that may easily be inhaled and become stuck in children's throats. Balloons are responsible for more choking deaths among children than any other toy or children's product.

  • Privacy-Invasive Toys: look out for "connected toys" that may violate children's privacy and other consumer protection laws. Consider cyber security prior to introducing smart, interactive, internet-connected toys into your home.

To learn more about toy safety or to check for recall updates, visit the following websites and subscribe to their alerts.

  • Report unsafe toys or toy-related injuries to the CPSC at SaferProducts.gov

  • CPSC and other U.S. government safety agencies www.recalls.gov

  • Shop with U.S. PIRG Education Fund's Toy Safety Tips, available at toysafetytips.org

  • Check the CPSC recall database at CPSC.gov before buying toys online

  • Learn more about the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) at ftc.gov

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