Toys are not only fun for children to play with, but they can support their development and teach them essential skills. However, when buying toys for your kids, you want to keep safety in mind. Some toys are hazardous and can cause injuries so it’s important to always read the warning labels of the products. Labels provide information on what ages are suitable for the toy and how to properly use it. Young children and infants should not be given small size toys that they can put into their mouth as these can cause choking. On the other hand, the toy shouldn’t be too large or heavy for the child to pick up that they cause an injury.
For infants and toddlers, it’s best to find toys that are made with soft materials and don’t have sharp edges. Babies might accidentally hurt themselves when they put the toy near their eyes, mouth, or ears. Toys with rounded and dull edges are safer to use. Stuffed toys are great options but if they have any loose strings or ribbons, these should be removed to avoid strangulation. It’s also important to stay away from stuffed toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing. Like with any other toy, stuffed toys should be washable. Kids tend to share their toys with other children and the surfaces can easily become infected when anyone is sick. To prevent the spread of illness, toys should be wiped and cleaned regularly and anytime your child is ill.
A crucial thing to keep in mind about soft and stuffed toys is that these should never be placed into your baby’s crib. Soft objects and loose bedding increase the risk of suffocation and SIDS.
If you’re buying any kind of plastic toy, make sure it’s sturdy and can’t easily be broken into sharp pieces. It’s also good to pay close attention to the materials being used and refrain from buying toys that have toxic materials that can cause poisoning. The label should indicate “non-toxic.” To ensure that electric toys are safe, the label should mention that the toy is “UL Approved.”
While magnetic toys can be educational for children, they can cause internal injuries if the magnets are loose or the toys have high-powered magnet sets and there’s accidental swallowing. You can sign up for alerts on the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) page to get info on which of these toys have been recalled.
In addition to the materials that are used, it’s also important to pay attention to the loudness of toys that have noise. If any of them appear to be too loud, there’s a risk that the toy can affect your child’s hearing. The volume of a toy should always be at a safe level for the ears.
Whenever your child is playing with a new toy for the first time, it’s best to supervise them to ensure that they know how to play safely. If you see them misusing the toy, correct them early or remove the toy from their reach if you believe it’s unsafe.
Lastly, toys are common gifts during the holiday season and of course, birthdays. Always check the toy that anyone buys for your child to verify it’s safe for them. For any questions or concerns about your child’s safety, talk to our pediatrician.