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Toys are a common and beloved Christmas gift for children.  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reminds gift-givers to consider the importance of choosing age-appropriate toys to ensure safety. To choose the right toy, labels bear required information, such as “age grading” and “cautionary statements”.

With age grading, toys are grouped based on the age, mental and developmental abilities of children intended to use the toy. These groupings are (1) infant, (2) toddler, (3) preschool and (4) school age.

With these in mind, to make sure your toy gift is appropriate and safe, consumers are encouraged to be critical in selecting toys. To assist consumers, you may reflect on four (4) basic questions to gauge a child’s skill, interest, and understanding:

1. Can the child manipulate and play with the features of the toy as it was designed? (Physical skill)
2. Can the child understand how to use the toy? (Understanding)
3. Is the toy of interest to a child of a particular age? (Interest)
4. Is the toy safe for a child at this particular stage? (Safety)

The FDA also gives the following practical safety reminders in selecting age-appropriate toys and before using them:

1. Read the product label paying attention to the age grading and cautionary statements.
2. Check for small parts for choking hazards, and sharp parts or ends, as these may cause injury to the child.
3. Check toys for any breakage, as these may cause unintended injury and accidents.
4. Ensure adult supervision over children’s play.
5. Check if the product has been notified with the FDA. Visit the verification portal at https://verification.fda.gov.ph to check the list of notified toys in the market.

To report any safety incidents involving toys, please send an e-mail to [email protected] or call out hotline at (02) 8857-1900 local 8113 or 8110.

Just remember that more than the toys we give, it is also worth considering the importance of spending quality time with them playing.  These create memories that can contribute to the overall joy and magic of the holiday season.

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