Playing with toys can be a lot of fun for children. But, it is important to keep in mind that safety should always come first. Each year thousands of children are injured by toys. Although most injuries from toys are minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, toys can cause serious injury or even death. This usually happens when toys are dangerous or used in the wrong way.
The following 10 tips are some things to look for when buying toys and a few simple ideas for safe use that can help to prevent injuries.
- It Is Important to Read the Label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Be sure to show your child how to use the toy the right way.
- Try to Think large. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
- You Should Avoid Toys That Shoot Objects into the Air. They can cause serious eye injuries or choking.
- Try Avoid Toys That Are Too Loud. This will prevent damage to your child’s hearing.
- Try to Find Stuffed Toys That Are Well Made. Make sure all the parts are on tight and seams and edges are secure. It should also be machine washable. Take off any loose ribbons or strings to avoid strangulation. Avoid toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing that can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
- It Is Important to Buy Plastic Toys That Are Sturdy. Toys made from thin plastic may break easily.
- Try to Avoid Toys with Toxic Materials That Could Cause Poisoning. Make sure the label says “nontoxic.”
- Don’t Buy Hobby Kits and Chemistry Sets for Any Child Younger Than 12 Years of Age. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. Make sure your older child knows how to safely handle these kinds of toys.
- Electric Toys Should Always Be “UL Approved.” Check the label to be sure. This means it has met certain safety standards.
- Always Be Careful When Buying Crib Toys. Strings or wires that hang in a crib should be kept short to avoid strangulation. Crib toys should be removed as soon as your child can push up on his hands and knees.
In addition, it is important to remember that you can always check with the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website. One of their goals is to protect consumers and families from dangerous toys. It sets up rules and guidelines to ensure products are safe and issues recalls of products if a problem is found. Toys are recalled for various reasons dangerous. Toys that are recalled should be removed right away.
It is also important to check and follow age recommendations for a toy for the following reasons:
- The safety of the toy (for example, if there any possible choking hazards)
- The ability of a child to play with and understand how to use a toy
- The needs and interests at various levels of a child’s development