If you’re buying a stuffed toy for a baby this year, there are certain safety considerations you need to be aware of.
Small babies put everything in their mouths, of course, so it’s important that nothing on the plush lovey is long enough to obstruct the airway or get wrapped around their necks. Things like ribbons, ears, and tails are usually pretty obvious, but watch out for long or shedding fur as well. Check to be sure all plastic parts, such as eyes, are firmly attached. The embroidered facial features IMVHO are much safer.
The stuffed toy ideally should be washable, or, at the very least, it should be surface washable. If there’s a rattle or noise maker inside the toy, I’d suggest you stick with a major brand, for example Fisher Price, Playskool, Boyd’s, RUSS, GUND, or Eden, so there’s little chance the toy would come apart and provide access to parts that would be choking hazards. If there’s a battery compartment, it needs to have a secure fastening system, such as screws, so the baby can’t put the batteries in their mouths.
Check here to help you with your next baby toy purchase, or to check on the safety of items you already own.
US Consumer Product Safety Division – Toy Recalls
Reputable toy manufacturers submit all their products to be tested for safety, so pay close attention to any age limits stated on the tush tags.