Toys are important for children since they provide them with lots of playtime hours which is necessary for developmental stimulation.
Children can greatly benefit from toys that excite, comfort and challenge them but it’s important to note that they can serve different purposes such as to develop skills, comfort, educate and entertain.
Selecting the right toy is essential since it not only lasts for years but children can get the best from their toys. Some toys might be inappropriate for certain skill level or they can be poorly constructed, and if you settle on the wrong toy, it can strangulate or chock your kid.
Here are some of the essential safety requirements for your kid’s toys
Take note of toxic toys
Although you might feel that you have selected toys that are safe, it’s important to make sure that they are not made with chemicals that might harm your child. Plasticizers and phthalates are used in making plastics more durable and flexible, and such chemicals are common in many toys.
Additionally, arsenic, mercury, lead, and cadmium are also found in different toys that range from stuffed animals to dolls, children jewelry and action figures.
Toys with small magnets
Some toys magnets are considered a hidden home hazard and if they aren’t spotted early enough can cause great damage. For instance, when a child swallows more than one small, powerful magnet they will get attracted through intestinal walls which can pinch the intestine causing infections, blockage, holes or even worse if they aren’t discovered and treated in time. If you have kids below the age of 14, then such toys need to be bought with extra care.
Think outside the box
Until your child is three years old, all the toy parts need to be bigger than their mouth, and this helps to prevent the possibility of choking. If you want to know if a toy poses a choking risk, you could try fitting it on the toilet paper roll. Once you realize that the parts of the toy or the entire toy can fit inside the cylinder, then it isn’t safe.
Take note of potential hazard and broken parts
Children are always playful, and they could damage the toys through their fun-filled play. That said, once you realize that there are splintered or sharp edges, then it should be sanded.
If you have to use paint on the toys or containers, then you should ensure that is non-toxic. Additionally, when it comes to outdoor toys, you should check for weak, sharp or rusty parts that could be potential hazards
It’s important to ensure that there is proper storage for your kids’ toys especially those that are used on a regular basis. If possible you could have separate shelves where they can be stored and out of reach once they are not in use. You should also ensure that the rack is firm and that it won’t trip over if the child climbs on it.
Be cautious of electric toys
If you are to purchase electric toys, then they should be properly constructed and wired. Improperly constructed toys can lead to severe damages such as shocks and burns if not properly handled. It’s also important for electric toys to meet the minimum surface temperature requirement as well as electrical construction.
If you are to purchase electrical toys with heating elements, then it should be used for kids who are above the age of 8. Additionally, children need to be taught on the toys safety precautions, and they should be used under adult supervision.
Toy Safety Guidelines
Keeping your children safe is always a top priority for any parent and therefore it’s important to take note of these toy safety guidelines.
Keep off from toys that come with string longer than 12 inches
It’s easy for a cord to wrap around your child’s neck and this can lead to strangulation. Once you notice that your child can climb on their hands and knees, you should get rid of any hanging mobile phones and crib gyms from his crib.
Also, you should take note of the older toys. For example, if you have an older model of play kitchen that could be attached to a phone then it’s worth checking out given that it could be a potential danger for your kid.
Select toys that are properly constructed
Toys that are sold on the yard sales or sent over to you from siblings or relatives can be frayed or worn and this can be dangerous. Before settling on any toy, you should check for plastic parts, beads, eyes, ribbon, yarn, batteries and buttons that could have snapped off or chewed. All toy parts need to be securely attached, and also they shouldn’t be any peeling paint or sharp edges.
Your kids should be ready for a toy
Always be cautious of your child’s age and ensure that he/she is physically ready to handle what’s given to him/her. For instance, some parents buy their kids bigger bikes so that they won’t have to buy a new bike the following year. This tactic is dangerous given that it can cause serious injuries especially if your kid does not have the skills to control bigger bikes.
Why close guardian/parent safety is important
The children safety sometimes depends on the parent and close guardian. If the primary care provider isn’t responsible enough then the kids might be affected in different ways.
It’s important to ensure that the play area is cleaned and well maintained. If you have an untidy, wet or slippery area you can easily trip and fall and this is also a dangerous play zone for your kids.
Additionally, if you have strict safety requirements on the use of toys for your children then you’ll have to worry less about their safety.
Some kids will tend to put toys in their mouth when you are not around and it’s important that you have the highest level of sanitization to avoid spending a lot of cash on different health-related complications.