Gift Guide on Toy Safety the Heart Felt Play Store Way

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Christmas or Birthday gift shopping for boys or girls may seem daunting at best.Then to make it more complicated we all have to consider safety first when purchasing a toy.

This post will give some general safety things to consider to buying an age appropriate gifts for children. In later posts I will address specific characteristics of developmental ages and suggestions from No Non-cents Nanna’s


Christmas or birthday shopping for a boy or girls? Before you shop for toys get educated on toy safety.

First of all every child, no matter the age, has his or her own personal preference.

However, no matter how appealing a play thing or toy is to a child the priority is to consider the safety of the product for a number of reasons.

Toy Safety

Don’t take my word alone – in fact don’t believe everything you read on a blog post from anyone. Validate what you read before you absorb it. That is why I research links to credible  resources to get you started on making your own good choices..

Toy safety guidelines | BabyCenter

  • Pick age-appropriate toys. …

Choose toys that are well-made. …

Think big. …

Make sure your child is physically ready for the toy. …

Skip the balloons. …

Don’t pick heavy toys. …

Don’t pick toys with a string or cord longer than 12 inches. …

  • Avoid toys with small magnets.


When I was looking for more products to add to my Heart Felt Play Store it took me 2 years.

I have been selling party favors, role play costume parts – fun stuff for kids with an educational twist with a warning NOT FOR CHILDREN UNDER AGE 3.

Why did it take me so long to pick a toy company? 

I had a wealth of companies to chose to drop ship from and so do  drop shippers on Ebay and those who sell thru’ Amazon know that fact as well…no, not everything you purchase on the Amazon website comes out of their warehouse.

I purchase from Amazon books and other odd stuff..Not knocking them….Just be sure to read all the labels for age, and safety standards…I  wrote far more information on the subject that you cared to know, perhaps.

Drop shipping cuts the shipping fees in 1/2. Plus there is no inventory sitting on the shelves. Saves everyone money. Saving a few bucks could cost you child his/ her life if the toy is not safe.

Ask:- Where did that toy come from? Is it a knock off? I can’t answers those questions for any other business.

Melissa & Doug Toys

…are known for their high quality and standards. That is why I chose to sell their toys. Sure, their toys cost “more”, but their toys are durable and meet all US safety standards.

When I put together a catalog page – yes, I include more than you ever want to read-I include the weight of the toy, the materials, safety precautions, and age restrictions so there is no guessing. ( Individualize for the specific child.)

I do include in my product descriptions the country of origin. Each toy must pass the high standards of Melissa & Doug. Tho’ unlikely If there should be a problem with a toy it will be pulled from stock and recalled.

If by chance I sold you a recalled item, I can look back to see who bought and notify you of a recall if you have not changed you address.

I often social share recalls for kids products..

Can you say the same thing of a yard sale or other on-line purchase? I don’t know the answer, either- just keep that question in mind.

I encourage you, the toy shopper to read more than the price tag.

Toy safety From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Potential hazards

Small toys may be swallowed by children, such as this electronic button seen in a child’s stomach.
Toys stuck in the esophagus or too large to pass through the stomach may need to be removed with endoscopes.

Common scenarios include:

  • Ingestion of magnetic toys
  • Choking or aspiration of small parts of the toy
  • Cuts by sharp parts of the toy
  • Motor toy vehicles incidents involving hair
  • Chemical substance

Does the list above scare you? It should scare you enough to be careful about the toys you give your child to play with.


Toy Safety |

The above link is an official government page. It’s kind of boring as it breaks down specifics on ASTM F963-17.

The toy safety standard is a lengthy document that contains provisions for many different types and classes of toys.  There is no one-size-fits-all approach to the toy standard.  Different sections of the toy standard apply to different toys.   Many of the standard’s sections may not apply to a particular product, but there are likely to be many sections that do apply. …

As a manufacturer or importer, it is your responsibility to review the toy safety standard and to consider which sections of the standard may apply to your product. (You may review the table of contents free of charge.)  Ultimately, however, you will likely need to have your product tested by a CPSC-accepted laboratory.

I don’t blame folks for trying to save money- buyer beware!

Do you really know the toy you bought for cheap meets US safety standards?

How to Buy Safe Toys


Look for stuffed toys that are well made.

  • – all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure.
  • -machine washable.
  • -no loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation.
  • -Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.

Please note the age restrictions on the package and believe it. If there is a warning on age- believe it. This post is for gift buying for the 3 year old. If a WARNING says, not for children under age 6 or age 12 there is a very good reason for the warning.

Sure, we all think our children are little genius Einsteins…still, don’t give a 3 year old a chemistry set for kids age 12+.

Stuffed animals enhance the decor of a baby nursery. It look so adorable to see the tiny baby sleeping next to a big Teddy bear 10 x’s the infant size. Do NOT do leave toys unattended in a bay crib. They can roll over and suffocate.


Save this link then sign up for the RECALL notices.

Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)​

Toys are recalled for various reasons including unsafe lead levelschoking​ or fire hazards​

I googled a few articles on lead in toys coming from China.

The article at the link below covers the issues of 3 toxic  chemicals that create the most concerns: lead, phthalates and bisphenol A (BPA).

A few years back,  2007, Mattel recalled 83 toy products made in China that were covered with lead paint.

Lead Paint Prompts Mattel to Recall 967,000 Toys – The New York Times

Also in 2007 the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recalled 24 Chinese-made toy products due to  lead paint and a bunch of other safety hazards.

I am writing this post in November 2018, yet, there are still concerns for toy safety. Have you stored away the older kids toys? Have you bought toys from a yard sale? Hand crafted? M-m-m? Endearing but, the sentimentality has to out weigh the safety…I don’t have a one-size fits all answer.

Is is possible that bargain was RECALLED at some time? If a product from china with a ton of lead came into the US under the table- there will be no recalls. no one can track it down.

Consignment stores, thrifts shops are required to check those safety  and recall lists.

Toxic Toys: Tips for Choosing Safe Toys for Kids

Why would a toy manufacturer put something as toxic as lead in a toy?


it’s about making a profit first – our children’s safety are not on their minds.

Lead in paint makes the colors more appealing and brighter.

Lead in paint makes the paint go on smoother and easier and help resist corrosion. Yes, far too many Chinese children have lead poisoning. Not only can lead be in toys, but also in food and water.

Small children puts almost everything in their mouths. Lead poisoning in high enough levels will cause kidney damage and brain damage.

When I was the traveling nurse for Head Start in 5 Iowa counties, I was able to get my students tested for lead. In some counties I had a disturbing number of children with high lead levels. Fortunately, we got them tested fairly early on to do something about it. ( Old paint in old buildings most like have lead based paint chips. In the early 50’s  I remember eating pain chips my self when I was hungry- I remember thinking they were sweet. Surprisingly I suffered no significant  long term effects.

You can buy lead testing kits if you think it is necessary. Here’s a link to a company that tells you all about lead test kits. I found it at random – not endorsing it the company- just an example:

The Lead inspector:

Quickly & easily test paint, ceramics, soil, dust, toys and more for harmful LEAD! Lead Inspector kits have been sold since 1988


Always consider how old the child is and or their developmental age.

  • Choosing the Right Toys for the Right Age:

    Age recommendations on toys can be helpful, because they offer guidelines on the following:

    • The safety of the toy (for example, if there any possible choking hazards)
    • The ability of a child to play with the toy
    • The ability of a child to understand how to use a toy
    • The needs and interests at various levels of a child’s development


Stay in touch over the next week to 10 days as I break down the products in my eCommerce store by recommended ages. Each product listed int he store will have  warnings for age. Often it starts at age 3+. I am in the process of adding baby dolls etc for children age 18 months the catalog


Explore Heart Felt Play for fun stuff for kids with an educational twist. Always think toy safety first. -see post for safety tips when choosing toys.


Safety Standard Mandating ASTM F963 for Toys

Bottom line when Santa makes his list and checks it twice – know where the product is made. US and UK seem to be best as far as safety goes.

At least, buy from a high quality toy from a US company that has it’s warehouses in the United States. Those companies have their product under their noses to keep a watchful eye on.

I can not emphasize this strongly enough – be very careful about buying on-line.

In each of my Heart Felt Play Store product descriptions for the Melissa & Doug Toys I sell, I tell you what country the product was made; the materiel; age warnings, and if standards are met.

I also state that I do not have the merchandise in my in-house inventory or I do have in my home-base business in Colorado. I state that x toy is to be Drop Shipped from the state of Utah in the United states. I also tell potential customers the dimensions of the products when shipped.- read post below…

Where a toy is shipped/ mailed from is extremely important.- here’s why.

Several years ago when I was investigating the drop ship business I was horrified by the statements made in those “secret” groups on Facebook and comments on blogs posts about signing up with certain companies.

One of the most disturbing comments I read over and over again went something like this.

“My costumers are complaining that they placed an order 9 weeks ago and the merchandise still is not delivered. ” or ” My costumers are complaining that the shirt seams they ordered are not sewn well.” The reply from the drop ship organization was something like, ” If your customers really want the items- they won’t mind waiting.”

Those repeated themes opened my eyes to product safety issues and then some.

  1. I sell to parents who are wanting something special for their child’s birthday- birthdays do not wait.
  2. “Slow boat from China?”   Or maybe  x Air express- what does that mean?

Apparently a customer in the US can order on-line thinking they are dealing with Americans. HA! sometimes an American is just acting a basically a broker who has never even seen the product. They make a few pennies on 1,000’s of items they have never even had a sample of.

What my take is this – correct me if I’m wrong – there are ways to sell toys, shirts, watches, cameras etc at prices well below suggested wholesale AND get knocks offs, shoddy, toxic , not safe junk into the country that customs inspectors or those looking for safety standards never see…that another whole book… don’t take my word for it… but it is happening  and will be rampant during the Christmas shopping season.

There may be a  reason why your purchase costs so much less than everyplace else. Is what I am writing make any sense to you?

Please careful- be safe- know the company and the manufacturer you are buying your kids toys from.

This is Malika Bourne the No Non-cents Nanna encouraging you to ‘Make good choice!”

Planning the Wrappings Before the Night Before Christmas

The shipping fees are covered by HeartFeltPlayStore

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