The National Parenting Center

Got questions? We’ve got answers!

Toys to AVOID for babies and little kids

Don’t give your child
toys that have small parts that can be swallowed or become lodged in a child’s windpipe, ears or nose, such as doll accessories, small snap-together blocks of beads or puzzles with small pieces. CPSC has developed the “truncated cylinder test tube,” now available in retail stores. This clear plastic tube allows things to fall through it that are too small to give a child under 3 years of age (but items marked for children 3 and over do not have to pass this test). Don’t rely completely on such “rules of thumb”. Children from one month to 4 years old have choked on products that passed the commission’s safety tests. Be aware that the worst offenders are pieces of broken balloons that children ingest and the marbles and small balls that often come in games. Broken toys are dangerous toys.

• Toys that come in cereal boxes or gum ball machines should be kept away. They are almost sure to be too small, too sharp and/or breakable.

• Knives, darts and any other sharp toys as well as toys that fire projectiles.

• Electrical toys, especially any with heating elements. Be wary of buying them, even when approved for an older child (especially if there is a younger, second child in the house).

• Stuffed toys with seams that are not tightly sewn. Stuffing that might escape often consists of small pellets that can be swallowed.

• Fragile toys, however cute and appealing they may be.

• Toys with strings longer than 12 inches, until a child is old enough to avoid getting tangled or wrapping himself or herself in a longer cord.

• Old toys with chipped paint that may have a high lead count, rough or splintery edges, small removable parts such as glass eyes or other unsafe features.

• Loud noise makers of any kind, because babies’ hearing systems are sensitive and can be damaged.

• Music box toys, especially plush ones with detachable parts that may become a choking hazard.

• Audio tapes, because babies are more interested in pulling the tape from the cassette than listening to the music.

Call CPSC (800-638-CPSC) to report an unsafe toy or one that has caused an accident

Vicki Lansky’s practical, common sense approach to parenting is familiar to millions throughout the world. Vicki’s first book, Feed Me, I’m Yours, published in 1974, and still one of the most popular baby/toddler food cookbooks in the country, was followed by The Taming of the C.A.N.D.Y. Monster, a #1 New York Times bestseller. Her other titles include: Toilet Training, Birthday Parties Best Party Tips & Ideas For Ages 1-8, Dear Babysitter Handbook, Welcoming Your Second Baby, Getting Your Child to Sleep … and Back to Sleep, Trouble-free Travel with Children, Baby Proofing Basics and Games Babies Play From Birth to Twelve Months, Koko Bear’s New Potty, A New Baby at Koko Bear’s House, Koko Bear and the New Babysitter, and Koko Bear’s Big Earache. Vicki Lansky’s Divorce Book for Parents: Helping Children Cope with Divorce and Its Aftermath


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.


A Seal of Approval review involves a multi-step process conducted over an eight-week period.

Parents and children, experience and review submitted products and services either already released or coming to market.

Participants fill out questionnaires for each product or service they test. They score based on 13 levels of criteria including quality, appeal, design, price, packaging, directions, desirability, stimulation, replay factor and more. Results are based on both statistical averaging and comments received by testers.

There are three testing periods each year:

Report Period


FALL ‘22


Testing Begins

February 15th

June 1st

September 1st

Submission Deadline

March 10th

June 24th

September 23rd

Testing Ends

April 24th

July 31st

October 30th

Report Issued

May 10th

August 17th

November 16th

Each submission must be accompanied by a $295 product testing fee (we offer multiple submission discounts). This fee covers the cost of testing, nothing more. It is non-refundable and has no bearing on the result of the testing. Additionally, we require three samples of the product or access codes for online submissions.

FYI about the Seal of Approval

* Winners of the Seal will be announced in a media release which is distributed to over 4700 media outlets including Facebook, Mommy bloggers and TV station websites.

* The report is forwarded to buyers at over 350 major retail and on-line stores including Amazon, Walmart and Target. Amazon features Seal winners on product pages.

* Each report is featured at TNPC’s web site as well as TNPC’s Twitter & Instagram accounts and Facebook Page.

* Links to company websites and a license to utilize the trademarked Seal of Approval artwork on marketing, packaging and web design are available exclusively to Seal winners for additional fees.

* Submitting a product does not secure or guarantee being awarded a Seal of Approval

Edit Company

PayPal Payment

"*" indicates required fields

Submission Summary

In case of Agency:

Suggested Retail Price
Suggested Age
Payment Method*

Credit Card Payment

"*" indicates required fields

Submission Summary

In case of Agency:

Suggested Retail Price
Suggested Age
Credit Card
American Express
Supported Credit Cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
Expiration Date