How To Ensure I Choose Safe Toys?
It is easy to assume that because a toy is on sale that it ‘must’ be safe. However, many incidents occur every year due to unsafe toys, or toys that are unsuitable for a child of a particular age.
Toys can be unsafe in two ways: they either feature physical issues such as sharp edges, flaky paint, or toxic components, or they can be used incorrectly by the child.
What To Check For
Always pay attention to the labels. Here you will find age restrictions, such as ‘not recommended for children under…’. This type of warning can alert you to the presence of strings or cords that could cause strangulation, for instance.
The label will also draw attention to any dangers that a younger child could face when playing with a toy that is safe for an older child. Toys such as Lego or chemistry sets can be of choking or danger hazard for a toddler, but the toy itself is safe. In this particular case, they have to be used under the surveillance of an adult.
Toys can also become unsafe for an older child, although they’re perfectly safe for a baby. This is often where parents get caught out. Anything suspended around a baby’s sleeping area can look great and be brilliant for visually engaging a new baby. But once a baby sits up and wants to reach for things, those toys can become a hazard as they can get tangled or chewed when they are not designed for those activities.
Checking Toys Periodically
It is sensible to do a stock check from time to time. Check for wear and tear and loose parts, sharp edges, or broken pieces and discard accordingly. Watch for children becoming more adventurous and learning new skills such as climbing and throwing, as you may need to remove some toys at this stage until they become more aware of their own safety.