Photo Credit: psiaki
The government monitors baby and toddler toys in that they insure that manufacturers place specific labels on toys for recommended ages of use. You should follow these guidelines at least, when choosing safe toys for your children. Yet, you may want to play even a closer amount of attention to the toys they have. Even with the best intentions, there is no way to know how a child may manipulate a toy and potentially hurt themselves or others with it.
The age restrictions placed on baby toys and toddler toys are there for a reason. These toys may have small pieces to them that small children may put into their mouths. They may also have working pieces where fingers can get snapped or pinched in the process. Small hands can get stuck in some devices, too. Never give a toy with a choking hazard to toddlers or babies, as their first reaction is to put things in their mouths. Of course, it also makes sense that the younger child will not use many of the older toys for children properly. Not only could this be a risk for their safety, but it will likely frustrate them, too.
Look Closely At All Toys
All types of toys could have the potential of being an injury for the child. For example, most people love to give their children a cute, cuddly stuffed animal to play with. While these dolls, action figures and stuffed items may be a great toy, some do contain potential choking hazards. Can an eye or accessory pop off these items and go in the child’s mouth? If it can happen, assume it will happen.
When choosing toys, you should look at the design of the toy. How can this hurt your child? A sharp edge on the toy can easily cut or scratch them. You may find a wheel that pops off the car. You may find that if the child chews on the toys too long they could rip it and choke on the plastics. For toys that are electronic, be sure they are safe toys for the child’s age. Battery compartments can come off, fingers can get stuck in keys and the toy can be tossed around which may break it.
What’s It Made From?
In today’s eco friendly environment, not only should you look for safe toys that fit within specific requirements for choking and safe play, but also from what the toy is made. A variety of products is on the market that is eco friendly and just as fun to play with. For example, you may wish to look for toys made from recycled products or made from organic cotton instead of manmade products.
It is also important to know what is contained in the toy. For some children, especially those who suffer from allergies or who have sensitive skin, fabric dyes and chemicals contained in the toys can be harmful to them.
What To Look For
When buying toys, keep these things in mind. Safe toys that fit within these requirements are out there and easy to find, too.
- Look for toys without strings, which can wrap around their neck and choke the child. Some toys may be comprised of strings wrapped around objects. Look for these and avoid buying them.
- The size of the toy is important of course for swallowing risks. Be sure that anything that could come off the toy is large enough not to fit into the child’s mouth.
- Avoid peeling surfaces or toys with any type of material in them that could potentially be dangerous if the toy is broken open.
Perhaps the most important protection for children is to give your child supervision when playing with toys. Even safe toys can be picked up and thrown or dropped on a foot. It is important to watch your child interact with the toy. When you notice them doing something that could potentially be dangerous, take the toy away from them. Over time, teaching your child how to play with toys correctly can limit problems, but nothing will protect them better than your watchful eye.