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Beyond the Obvious: A Guide to Make Safer Gift Giving Choices

two boys opening a present

When it comes to gift-giving, you likely put thought into what would make a recipient happy. But do you give much thought to making sure the gifts you give won’t cause harm?

Most people know to avoid gifts with small parts for very young children because they can be a choking hazard. But you may not know what other types of gifts may be dangerous or inappropriate, not only for children but for adults as well.

Safe Gift Giving

Here are some tips for selecting safe and appropriate gifts for all ages:

Check the Age Range

This will indicate what age the product is intended for. This may mean that the gift has small parts, sharp edges, or something else that could be harmful to children younger than the low end of the age range. Or it may just mean that the toy will be too complicated for a younger child to use, which can be frustrating.

Is it a Choking Hazard?

Buying a toy for a child under three? If there's no age range on it, make sure there are no parts that can fit inside a toilet paper roll. This little trick will give you an idea of whether it is a choking hazard.

Inspect Toys Carefully

Things to look for:

Look for an ASTM Label

This shows that a product has met the American Society for Testing and Materials safety standards.

Visit a Pediatrician

Pediatricians can help you make decisions about your child's care and safety.

Know Your Recipient

Of course, most safety advice for gift-giving applies to toys for kids. But there are times when you need to be careful about what you gift to teens, adults, and seniors as well. For example:

In addition to considering the safety of any gift, also think about whether the gift is appropriate. Sure, not every gift that’s given will be well-received or loved, but there are some ways to better ensure your good intentions don’t cause a burden. That means that as a general rule of thumb, you shouldn’t give someone something they should choose or plan themselves — like pets or travel plans, for starters.

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