Toys are one of the treasures of childhood, but if they are not properly selected they may be hazardous.

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC)more than 250,000 toy related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2015. Of those, about one third involved children under the age of 5.

What can you do to reduce the risk of buying a toy that may become a hazard?

Pick Age Appropriate Toys – Most toys show a “recommended age” which can be used as a starting point. Be realistic about the child’s abilities and maturity level. If the 3 year old child still puts everything in their mouth, wait a little longer to buy toys with small parts.

Choose Toys That Are Well Made – Check parts to make sure they are attached well. Make sure there are no sharp edges.

Think BIG – Children under 3 should have toys that do not fit into the mouth. This reduces the possibility of choking. Try the toilet paper roll check: If a toy fits through it, it’s too small for a child under 3.

Make Sure the Child Is Physically Ready for the Toy – If the toy is designed to be picked up and moved, is the child able to safely lift and carry it? Also, bikes and riding toys that are too big can lead to serious injury if the child cannot control them or their feet cannot touch the ground.