Toys are one of the things that make being a child fun. However, it is important for you to take the steps to make sure that you keep your child safe while they are playing with toys. It is estimated that 250,000 children have to go to the hospital each year due to a toy injury. Here are some basic guidelines to follow when toy shopping for your child.
Select Age Appropriate Toys
Before selecting a toy for your child, you will need to make sure that it is best for your child's age, skill and interest. Children should be given toys that are larger than their mouth until they turn three. This will minimize the risk of choking. There is a simple test that you can do in order to determine whether the toy poses a choking hazard.
You can put the toy through a toilet paper roll. If the toy can fit inside of the toilet paper roll, then it is not safe for a small child. The weight of the toy is something that you will need to take into consideration. If the toy can harm their body if it fell on them, then you should not buy it.
Choose Well Made Toys
Many people will give their children toys that were used by older siblings or other relatives. They may also purchase used toys at a yard sale. This may seem like a great way to save money. However, it is something that you should be cautious about doing.
Used toys often have missing parts. They may also have parts that can easily be taken off. If you choose to give your child a hand-me-down toy, make sure that it is in good shape.
Watch Out for Chemicals
A toy may look like it is safe, but it can still be dangerous. You want to make sure that the toy does not have any chemicals that can harm your child. Phthalates are some of the dangerous chemicals can be found in toys because they help make a toy more durable and flexible.
Mercury, lead, and cadmium are some of the other things that you will need to avoid. These can be found in anything from stuffed animals to jewelry. In a grocery store, you’re likely to read the food labels before purchasing the product - practice that same logic when buying toys.
Skip the Balloons
Balloons are a party staple but they are also one of the top causes of toy-related choking. If a child puts a balloon in their mouth and swallows it, then it can form a seal around the airway.
Get rid of the Packaging
Many infants prefer to play with the packaging instead of the toy but it’s important to monitor this and throw away all twist ties, staples, tape and cardboard to ensure it doesn’t harm your child. At this stage in their lives, they use their mouth to discovery object and all of the above can be riddled with bacteria, chemicals, and sharp objects.
Avoid Toys With Magnets
Magnets are often referred to as a hidden home hazard, which is often found on toys. This is something easily swallowed, which can create a hole in their intestine and severe infection.
There are many cases of children who’ve required surgery due to swallowing magnets. Experts recommend keeping magnets away from children who are under the age of 14.
Make Sure That All The Batteries Are Secure
If a toy requires batteries, then you should make sure that they are secured. Your child should not be able to pry the battery guard open. Batteries pose a number of health risks including choking, chemical burns and internal bleeding.
Teach Older Children How To Safely Play With Toys
If you have older children, it’s important to teach them to keep hazardous toys away from their younger siblings. Young children are naturally curious and often want what they’re older siblings have, which can cause an accident.
Supervise Your Children
It’s important for you to supervise your children when they are playing with toys. It’s also key to inspect their toys every so often for signs of damage or hazards.
Teach Children to Put Toys Away
We’ve all stubbed our toe on one of our kid's toys. For small infants, they could trip and cause harm to their body or head. As a result, the younger you show your children how to put their toys away, the less likely you’ll be to run into this incident.