Guest Post: Your Kid-Safe Holiday Gift Checklist

What’s more rewarding than finding the perfect gift for your little one? It’s easy to get caught up in the holiday hype and shop with reckless abandon for the most popular presents. It may be difficult, but take care to do your homework before you purchase. That way, you can ensure that you’re buying the safest, most age-appropriate gifts for your children. Here’s a simple checklist that can help you stay on track with kid safety this holiday season.

1. Shop Age-Appropriate

Under Three

Skip the Legos and PlayMobil sets. Their small parts can present a choking hazard — especially if your child likes to put everything in their mouth.[1]

Under Six

At this age, kids may be itching to play with bows and arrows, slingshots, and darts, but projectiles are still unsafe for this group.[2]

It’s also a good idea to avoid magnets for children under six. Even small magnets can pose serious health risks to children if swallowed.[3]

Under Eight
Electrical toys are unsuited to children under eight. For older children, it’s still important to check if there are any loose wires before gifting any kind of electronic item.[1]

2. Buy Active Gifts With the Corresponding Safety Gear

Buying your child a bike, roller blades, or sports equipment is a smart way to encourage them to play outside and inspire a healthy lifestyle early on. But it’s also important that they learn to be safe. Make sure to buy the corresponding safety gear: helmets, pads, mouth guards, etc.[4] That way, your gift protects your child and gives you considerable peace of mind.

3. Consider Alternative Gifts

They might not come in big packages, but memberships, classes, and tickets can offer kids experiences that are as meaningful as any toy. Take a look at:

Summer Camps

If there’s a nearby summer camp, look into its programming and decide whether it’s something your child would enjoy. Even in big cities, summer camps help kids get outdoors, stay active, and keep learning while they’re not at school.[6]


Ballet? Tae Kwon Do? Drums? If your child has expressed interest in learning new skill, they might appreciate enrollment in classes as a great present — so long as you give them the accessories they’ll need to take said classes.


Zoos, aquariums, science centers, and museums of natural history can really draw kids in. Many of them offer memberships that provide certain discounts and perks. Membership doesn’t mean free admission in every case, but many memberships do offer a discount on admission.

4. Do Your Homework

While you’re making your list of gifts, conduct a mini background check on toys you’re considering. A quick Google search should let you know whether they have been recalled, or whether complaints have been made about their construction or toxicity.

Read Labels Thoroughly

When you’re at the store, check the labels. They should make recommendations as to the age group for which the toy is suitable, along with warnings and other information. For example, if you’re shopping for a soft toy or a book for a toddler, look for the label “No Phthalates”. These chemicals have been linked to health risks including hormonal disruption and obesity.[6]

Check for recalls or toxicity scandals

Visit to check if any of the gifts you intend to give have been recalled. You can even set up email notification so you can stay on top of recalls.

5. Shop Around

If you can’t find safe, age-appropriate gifts in your local stores, try looking online. Rest assured, there are other concerned parents on the hunt too.

Use a Seamstress

Consider turning to a local seamstress if you intend to gift clothes this holiday season. That way, you can choose the fabric yourself and avoid hunting through racks for Phthalate-free clothing.

If you’re buying gifts for the children of friends or relatives, be sure to ask the parents what gifts they prefer. Remember, giving safe presents can mean more than foregoing plastic in favor of wood toys. Sometimes the best gift is a family experience or a new set of skills. Keep an open mind while shopping this holiday season: there are plenty of kid-safe gift options out there.

Donna Parshall writes articles for Allied Cash Advance about online commerce, responsible borrowing, investment, and budgeting – click here to learn more. Allied Cash Advance payday loans and cash advance are lent responsibly.


[1] Elcik, Cathy. ” Holiday Safety Tips: Keep Kids Safe.” Life 1 2 3. n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

[2] Jones, Sam. “December is Official Safe Toys and Gifts Month- Gift your child a safe toy this Christmas.” Sam Rx. n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

[3] Schier, Anna. “Tips for Purchasing Safe Toys for Children.” Mokena Patch. n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

[4] “HOW TO BUY SAFE TOYS.” n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

[5] Tomfeld, Sherry. “Safe Christmas Gifts for Kids!” Yahoo! Voices. n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <>.

[6] “How to make sure you’re giving safe toys.” Chicago Tribune. n. page. Web. 11 Dec. 2012. <,0,431726.story>.


  1. It becomes tough to keep everything safe, however, when you have children of all age ranges. The 8 year old is in love with legos…then there is a baby and toddler and preschooler in the house! So you just have to watch and make sure things get picked up!

  2. Jenny Sims says:

    Great tip on the classes and experience gifts! That’s something we try to do with our kid anyway, and it would be nice to have less “stuff” on Christmas morning.

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