Tips on Choosing Safe Toys For Your Child
Have you ever thought about the toys you buy for your kids, especially for your toddler. Toys are fun things and we buy them with the expectation that they would bring joy to our "bundle of joy," i.e. our precious little one. However, sad as it is, it is an unfortunate reality that scores of kids are brought in to emergency rooms across the world for treatment for complications arising out of improper choice of toys. These could be as a result of loose parts that the child accidentally put in his/her mouth that resulted in choking, stuffed toys that caught fire, toys with sharp edges that cut the child, plastic covers that ended up suffocating the child. One can only imagine what the parents who've found themselves in these unfortunate circumstances would have gone through. Their intention was just to give their child the joy of a toy, not have it injure or take the life of their child. It is therefore necessary that you, as a parent, make well-informed decisions on the kind of toys you buy for your kid. In this article, I'd like to touch upon a few points to help parents buy safe toys and also give some pointers on what to watch out for.
Things to Watch For While Buying Toys for Toddlers:
Here are some tips on how to choose safe toys for your toddler:
- When you go toy shopping, you'd find that most toys have labels on them, indicating what age group the toys are suitable for. Do not ignore them. They are there for a reason. Pay heed and buy only those toys suitable for your kid's age group. However, do exercise your personal judgment too when making a decision. If you feel a particular toy can be dangerous to your child, go with your instinct on that, irrespective of what the label says. While the labels can be a rough guide, you are best positioned to know your child's tendencies and whether the particular toy in question is the right one.
- As a general rule, do not buy toys with parts that are loose or which can break off easily. Kids, especially toddlers, tend to put things in their mouth and so such loose parts can prove deadly.
- Watch out for toys that have sharp or jagged edges. These certainly aren't suitable for your kid.
- Watch out for toys that are Made in China. I know there are lots of toys Made in China, but I'd rather look to avoid these toys. Reason: Quality standards are shabby. Toys coming out of China have been reported in the press to have lead coated onto them, which can damage the brain, so why risk it?
- Avoid toys or toy kits with small parts that can cause a choking hazard.
- Avoid toys with long cords or wires, anything that could pose a strangulation risk.
- Avoid toys that make loud sounds. Most parents overlook this, as they are just not aware of the fact that loud sounds can damage the hearing of your child. Some of these toys that make sounds of sirens, toy gun sounds, etc. actually are much louder than we think. They have a repetitive quality to the sounds they generate and are not good for your child's hearing. So, look to avoid toys such as these. Toys that generate pleasant music are far better choices.
Toddler Toy Safety - Other Guidelines to Keep Your Toddler Safe:
Here are some other general guidelines on how to keep your toddler safe:
- Make sure that your older kid's toys are not accessible by your younger toddler. Overlooking this negates all of the above. You may have not bought those toys for your toddler, but if they can access those toys, what's the point of all the care you've taken? Hence, make sure your older kids' toys are kept separately and also that you educate your older kids about the need to keep these toys away from your toddler.
- Once you buy a toy, your job isn't done. Inspect the toys regularly to make sure nothing has come loose or broken. If it has, throw them out, if it cannot be repaired to your satisfaction.
- Balloons are another potential choking hazard, broken balloons or uninflated ones to be specific. Make sure your toddler does not have access to them.
- Relatives and friends often gift toys, but they may not necessarily conform to your comfort level - in terms of safety. If they do not, do not feel obligated to give such toys to your kids. What should matter above all else is the safety of your kid. So, lock them away and give it to them when they are a bit older and they no longer pose a hazard.
These are just some of the things you need to keep in mind while buying toys for your toddler, and after you have bought them. Apart from all of the above, do go by your instinct at times. A toy is bought with lot of joy and it should be a joyful experience for the parent, not one of regret at having bought a toy that caused harm, injury or even death of their precious child. So, shop for safe toys and give your child the opportunity to experience toys without any harm. As a parent, you can surely do that much!
© 2010 Shil1978