Majority of toys are manufactured with safety in mind. However, no one toy can be regarded as fully safe. Toys which can break or get misused are prone to becoming a source of danger. Below are some tips which can be considered before you choose any toys and maintain them in the long run.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT TYPES
Toys are often graded by age groups for safety purpose. Age-appropriate guidelines showcase the toy’s safety levels based on the following factors:
- Safety risks like choking
- Physical skills required
- Instructions of usage
- The interests and needs children at different stages
When you are already aware of the abovementioned pointers, you can do the following:
- Select toys that are suitable for the age group of your child
- Select toys that are produced from natural materials such as wool, cotton, or uncoated wood
- Avoid choosing old wooden toys that may have chipped paint which may contain lead
- Be sure that fabric toys can be washed
- Choose toys that show they are free of phthalate, PVC, and BPA. For plastic toys, avoid recycling codes #3, 6, and 7.
- For markers, paints, crayons, and any other art supplies, make sure they are non-toxic
- For items that need safety gears like a bicycle, buy the complementary helmet, and knee and wrist guards
DANGERS OF TOYS
- Sharp edges and points: Toys that cater to older children may have sharp edges and points. They may cut a younger child so avoid storing them where they are easily accessible. Toys made of thin plastics need to also be avoided. For toddlers and babies, do not give them toys made of metal or have metal parts.
- Small toys: Children who are younger than 3 are more prone to choking. Thus, keep any small toys that may be a choking hazard. Every toy part needs to be bigger than the size of a choke tube to ensure they cannot fit into a child’s mouth.
- Loud noises: Toys that make loud noises such as guns may damage a child’s hearing. Read warning labels beforehand to make sure they are safe to use.
- Cords or strings: Toys that come with cords or strings which are longer than 7 inches may be dangerous for babies. They may get wrapped around their neck and choke them. Keep them out of reach especially from their playpens and cribs.
- Toys that shoot projectiles: These toys can cause serious harm to the eyes. If you have to gift such toys, make sure they are for the right age group of children who knows exactly the consequences.
- Electric toys: Toys that have the label “UL Approved” are safe for use. Those without this label may overheat and cause serious harm to the user. Avoid modifying any electric toys to prevent risks of fire. For toys that come with batteries, make sure the battery cover is always secured to prevent young children from taking the batteries out and risk swallowing them.
- Toys with magnets: If the magnets come off, they risk being swallowed by young children. This can cause serious injury or may even become fatal.
Even with all of these precautions put in place, remember that we can never be too safe. Thus, always supervise your children while they are at play, so you can react swiftly if they are exposed to danger.