How Safe Are Your Kids' Toys?
In a house full of kids, child safety concerns always seem to be a no-brainer, that is, until an accident involving your kid’s favorite toy happens. And yes, even when we always have our children’s best interests at heart, and strive to get them toys from trusted retailers and manufacturers, accidents can and do happen.
Have a look at your children’s toys. Is there anything chipped or protruding which shouldn’t be so? Are there any buttons or ribbons undone on your kid’s favorite doll or teddy bear? How about the wheel and spoke of your kid’s toy truck? And does the paint on your child’s newly-purchased building blocks emit a strong smell?
These and many other things are some of the concerns of parents and child caretakers when it comes to children’s toys.
Our Guide to Choosing Safe Toys
If reading this article has prompted you to scan the play area and inspect your child’s toy chest, it would be best to know exactly what to be on the lookout for.
So, to minimize the chance of any toy-related mishaps from happening at home, we’ve put together this family-friendly guide to choosing safe toys for your kids.
1. Age is Not Just a Number
When you see a label on the box or toy packaging with an age range recommendation, do not disregard it because it’s there for a reason. For example, since choking hazard-related incidents are common among the three and under age range, toys with small parts, detachable or not, are forbidden from this age group.
The age restriction also takes into consideration a child’s developmental stage, so playing with magnets is a no-no for toddlers who are known to put everything in their mouth. No projectile toys for them either, and even for those up to age six since children at these stages still find it difficult to handle such toys.
2. Get Physical
Any toy which your child cannot physically handle should not be purchased, even if it is sturdy or made of quality material. A heavy or unmanageable toy, no matter how cute or cuddly, may lead to falls and other types of accidents.
3. Be Touchy-feely
Always check toys for any loose hair, fur, ribbons or parts which pose a choking hazard to small children in a household with mixed-age children. Be on the lookout for sharp, rough or pointy edges and surfaces which can hurt, pierce or be abrasive to a child’s delicate skin.
4. Inspect the Gadgets
Do routine checks on your child’s toys for wear and tear to ensure any loose parts are immediately replaced, fastened or reinforced, and worn-out toys are disposed of properly.
5. Check any Attached Strings
Since there are toys which do include cords, ribbons, yarn and other rope-like material (think skipping ropes, yoyos and the like), make sure the material is built to handle the pressure of daily child’s play.
These types of toys should be avoided when it comes to very young children to prevent accidental strangulation.
When it comes to toy magnets or toys with magnets that can come loose, there’s a danger when magnets are swallowed and get stuck together. This can lead to internal injuries like congestion, perforation or tearing of the intestinal walls, or much worse.
In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) says that children below age 14 should not be allowed to play with magnets.
7. Mind the Sign
Or in this case, make sure to read the fine print especially any warnings or instructions from the toy manufacturer. Any risks involving foreseeable misuse lies in the manufacturer’s hands, but who would want to subject their child to any form of hurt, pain or trauma involving their toys if it can be prevented?
Usual notes involving risks consider the physical and mechanical aspects of the toy, its flammability, chemical and/or electrical properties, hygiene concerns and radioactivity. These are certainly big words in every toy manufacturer’s dictionary, and it’s best to keep them in mind.
8. Quality over Quantity
These days, all sorts of toys are available a dime a dozen – there are just too many choices! But you can teach your child discernment by breaking down the pros and cons of buying one toy over another.
Make sure you purchase toys of good quality make and sturdy material, and of course, all toy purchases should always be age appropriate.
Looking to buy your young one a new toy that’s educational, sturdy and truly child-friendly? There are options out there in the market as both manufacturers and retailers continue to work together to develop the best toys for your kids.
While you’re at it, don’t miss out on the latest eco-friendly toys that will surely put a smile on your child’s face while helping Mother Earth.