In order to ensure the safety of our children, we ask that you follow these guidelines when choosing gifts and donations.

  • All toys to be given as gifts must be new.
  • Infant toys should have US Consumer Product Safety Commission certification. Look on the package for certification information.
  • Latex (or rubber) balloons are not allowed in the hospital because of latex allergy precautions and other safety factors. Mylar balloons are permitted.
  • Only new stuffed toys can be accepted.
  • Fire regulations forbid spark-producing or friction-producing toys.
  • Toys should be sturdy. Avoid toys which can break and leave sharp edges. No toys should be made of glass or brittle plastic (some foreign-made infant toys and rattles are made of this).
  • Painted toys should be non-toxic. Any glue or paint in craft kits must be non-toxic.
  • "Humorous" medical toys and games can cause fears and misconceptions and are therefore inappropriate.
  • Although the "dollar stores" have real bargains, sometimes the quality is absent. We would rather have one good rattle that meets safety standards than five inexpensive ones.

For more information about how you can help, please contact the University of Maryland Children’s Hospital Child Life Program at 410-328-7440.