If you’ve got kids, then you probably have toys. It’s spring-cleaning season, and now is a good time to sort through them and look for any that are no longer safe for your children to play with.

Pediatrician Dr. Pilar Bradshaw encourages parents to look for hazards and toss any toys that pose a danger. They should also keep toys intended for older kids separate from spaces for infants or toddlers, and keep in mind that toys purchased for older children may no longer be safe.

“If anything is broken, those might be toys that aren’t safe anymore to have in your home,” she says.

What to look for

When checking toys for safety, Dr. Bradshaw says to make sure they are age appropriate. Warning labels give important information on how to use a toy and what ages are considered safe for playing with the toy.

KidsHealth features a list of things to look for when buying or evaluating toys. Factors to consider include:

  • If toys are cracked or broken, get rid of them.
  • Check to make sure that all remaining toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
  • Be aware of small parts that can be pulled loose.
  • Toys should not have strings longer than 7 inches or parts that can pinch small fingers.
  • Stuffed animals and other plush toys, in particular, can pose hazards to infants and small children—for example, if they have bows that can be undone or eyes or noses that can be pulled or bitten off.
  • Never leave soft, stuffed toys in your infant’s crib.

Also, be sure battery-operated toys have battery cases that secure with screws.

“Especially those small button batteries, if those are swallowed by a kid, that is actually a medical emergency,” Dr. Bradshaw says. “So, any toy that makes sound or lights up has a battery, you should keep that away from your infant or young toddler.”

Be careful of any used or antique toys given to your child as well. “The other thing I see quite often is people will use old or antique toys that perhaps they played with as a kid that do not meet current safety standards,” Dr. Bradshaw says. “Any toys that you have as hand-me-downs or you get from a friend, really evaluate those toys for appropriateness for your age of child.”

Keep dog toys, kid toys separate

In addition, be careful not to mix toys for children and toys for dogs. Recently, Eugene Pediatric Associates has treated dog bites stemming from conflicts with the family pets over toys.

“Children’s toys can look a lot like a dog’s toys, or a child may be tempted to play with a dog’s toys, and that can lead to trouble,” Dr. Bradshaw says. “Do not use your child’s toys to play with the dog.”

Check toy recalls

If you have questions or concerns about a particular toy, or want to keep up on latest updates, the Consumer Product Safety Commission keeps a searchable list of recalled products if you’re concerned about a particular toy.