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Every year children are seen at emergency departments with injuries caused by toys they’ve just received as Christmas presents. 

Here is the “A & 4S” test when choosing toy gifts for the children.

Age-Appropriate. Check the labels and see if the toy is appropriate for the age of the child receiving it.

Size. If the toy or parts of it is smaller than a ping pong ball, it is a choking hazard and not suitable for a child under three years of age.

Surface. Toys should not have sharp points or rough edges that a child could be scratched by, or on which they could cut or pierce themselves.

Strings. Check that strings or tails on toys are not too long and are firmly attached to avoid strangulation injuries.

Safety. Always include the necessary safety gear, especially for ride-on toys (bicycles, skateboards and scooters). A great and economical gift planning idea is to have the grandparents or other family members buy the helmet for the ride-on toy you are purchasing.

And for second-hand toys, check that parts are complete and fillers won’t come off and pose a choking hazard. You can also check the Consumer Affair’s toy safety and product recall pages at

For more information of child injury prevention and safety messages, visit


The Kiwi Families Team

This information was compiled by the Kiwi Families team.

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