How to Buy Safe Toys for Your Baby This Christmas

by Dr. Amanda Gummer

Christmas is a magical time of year, made all the more exciting if it is your little one’s first Christmas. As a busy parent, it’s likely that you rely on online retailers for your shopping, but this could be putting you at risk of buying unsafe toys.

Recent research shows that out of a random sample of 255 toys bought from third-party sellers on online marketplaces, almost half (48%) were unsafe for a child to play with (British Toy and Hobby Association, 2021). This includes restricted chemicals used in a baby doll, and easily exposed button cell batteries that are extremely dangerous when swallowed.

This is why it’s so important to look beyond the lowest prices and make sure that you are buying from trustworthy retailers, so you can be confident that the toys you are giving to your baby or toddler meet UK safety standards and you aren’t going to have any nasty surprises.

Here are a few tips from the experts at the Good Toy Guide to make sure you are buying safe toys for your baby this Christmas:

1. Check the toy meets safety guidelines

Toys should come in legitimate packaging with labelling containing appropriate age, a valid contact address for the manufacturer, product and safety information. For example, fabric toys should be labelled as flame resistant and art materials should state that they are non-toxic.

While second-hand toys and those bought from online marketplaces can offer value for money, it is important to remember that they may not have been safety tested to the appropriate standards and this information may not be as readily available. Visit ToySafety.co.uk to find out more about these standards.

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2. Choose age-appropriate toys

When we buy clothes for children, we often opt for a size up so they can grow into them. However, if your child is under three, keep in mind that the age recommendations on toys refer to safety, not just the developmental stage of the child. For example, toys with small parts are not advisable for children under three years old as they can be a choking hazard.

To find toys that support your baby’s learning and grow with them as they develop, take a look at the reviews on GoodPlayGuide.com. Every toy is tested by children and reviewed by child development experts, to give you all the information you need to help your baby reach their full potential.

3. Look for robust, washable toys

It is also helpful if the toy is washable as it means you can clean it when it gets grubby and avoid any nasty bacteria forming. Look for soft toys that can go in the washing machine to make this a quick and easy job. With bath toys, ensure that they are easy to dry out, as these are susceptible to mould.

Toys also have to be sturdy and also strong enough to withstand chewing, throwing, and bashing as your baby explores. All of the toys reviewed on GoodPlayGuide.com have been tested by multiple children, so you can be confident that even a favourite toy will stand the test of time.

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Conclusion

Money is tight for many families this Christmas, so it’s understandable that parents will want to shop around for the best deal. But remember that buying from third-party sellers on online marketplaces doesn’t always mean you are getting safe toys. Here are a few final tips for your Christmas shopping:

  • Buy baby toys from trustworthy, UK-based retailers so you know they meet safety standards and you have someone to hold accountable if anything goes wrong
  • Follow age guidance on toys for children under three years old, as these are safety recommendations, and not just based on developmental stage or ability
  • Babies don’t need a lot of toys, so if you’re on a budget, a few carefully chosen toys you know are safe for your little one is better than a huge heap of presents


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Written by

Dr. Amanda Gummer

Child Psychologist & Founder of Good Play Guide
Child psychologist and development expert Dr. Amanda Gummer is the founder of Dr. Gummer’s Good Play Guide. Established as the UK’s leading expert on the importance of play for childhood development, Dr. Gummer’s guide at www.Goodplayguide.com is a hub for tips and advice and ensures parents are able to know which toys and apps ( The Good Toy Guide and The Good App Guide ) offer developmental and entertainment value to their children. Amanda’s book, ‘Play: Fun ways to help your child develop in the first five years’ is available on Amazon and at good book shops.

Articles on YourBabyClub.co.uk are a mixture of informative pieces, anecdotal accounts and professional advice from our panel of Bloggers, Writers and Experts. The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official view of Your Baby Club UK

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