How Safe Are the Toys in Your Church Nursery?

being there // Katie Rynard on Tuesday September 13, 2016

Donations of new or gently used toys make play time in the church nursery even more enjoyable for the youngest members of your congregation. To ensure the toys in your nursery remain fun and not scary, take time to inspect donations before accepting them. Toy-related injuries were responsible for approximately 251,800 emergency department visits in 2014, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC).

If you receive donated toys, decide whether or not to keep them based on these factors:


  • ASTM labels – this indicates that the toy has been tested and certified by the American Society for Testing and Materials
  • Age-recommendation labels – typically printed on toy packaging, this label helps you ensure that toys are age-appropriate for the children you’re responsible for
  • Nontoxic labeling (crayons, markers and other art supplies)
  • Flame-resistant, flame-retardant or nonflammable labels (cloth toys)
  • Washable materials (cloth toys)
  • Sturdy and durable construction that will stand up to frequent use


  • Sharp edges or points
  • Loud noises that could cause hearing damage
  • Small or moving parts that aren’t securely fastened
  • Splinters on wooden toys
  • Small parts, like marbles and beads, that could be put into a child’s nose, mouth, or ears
  • Visible damage, like tears, cracks or broken seams
  • Slots or holes that could pinch a child’s fingers
  • Easy access to magnets and button batteries, which are choking hazards and harmful if ingested
  • Potentially harmful filling, like small pellets
  • Been recalled by the CPSC

It’s also smart to periodically screen toys that have been in your nursery for a while. Carefully fix broken toys or ditch them if they’re beyond repair, and regularly clean toys so they’re sanitary.

SOURCES: Child Safety for Churches,” a free downloadable book from GuideOne Insurance | Safe Kids Worldwide  | KidsHealth

This material is for information only and is not intended to provide legal or professional advice. You are encouraged to consult with your own attorney or other expert consultants for a professional opinion specific to your situation. This information is only a general description of the available coverages and is not a contract. In an effort to keep your policy coverage affordable, the actual policy contains certain limitations and exclusion. Please refer to your insurance policy for the pertinent contract language and coverages. Some coverages and discounts are not available in all states. GuideOne welcomes all applications, without regard to religion, race, color, national origin, sex, handicap or familial status.

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard

Katie Rynard is a Corporate Communications Specialist at GuideOne Insurance.

When she's not at work, she enjoys decorating, traveling, trying new restaurants and spending time with her husband, daughter and dachshund puppy.

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