As any parent will tell you, keeping your child safe is a full time job. You have to constantly be on the lookout for potential dangers, not just way from home but inside the home as well. Parents have to make certain that all household chemicals are out of baby’s reach, that the cabinets and drawers are locked, the outlets are plugged with safety plugs, and that the baby’s room is safe and clean. One area that sometimes gets overlooked, however, is the potential threat your children’s toys may pose to them. Sure, you know it is important to check for small parts, and to read all the warnings on the box before purchasing the toy, but what about the other people who shop for your children? Or what about the toys at grandma’s house, or at your sister’s that lives down the street? How do you know they are as picky with the toy buying as you are? The simple answer is you don’t, so it is important that you tactfully educate them in what toys are appropriate and safe for your children. They need to learn that not every toy on the market is necessarily safe for your child to play with. Teach them what they should look for when buying toys for your children, so that you can sleep easier knowing that they will be safe while playing at the other person’s home.
One of the first things to keep in mind when toy shopping is what age range the toy is meant for. Most toy manufacturers will place an age recommendation somewhere on the package, and it is important to take this into careful consideration when shopping. Pay special attention to the toys that say they contain small parts and can be a choking hazard to children under a certain age. No matter what the temptation, you should not purchase that toy for a child younger than the recommended age, as it could potentially kill your child. You should also consider the child’s abilities and interests. If you are a fan of educational toys, try to buy those that match your child’s knowledge level, too advanced and they will be bored with it and won’t play with it, too easy, same thing.
Buying toys for young children takes extra work, because you need to inspect the toy to ensure that there are no small parts that could come off of the toy and pose a hazard. The package may not say choking hazard, but a stuffed animal with beaded eyes, for example, poses a serious threat to the baby who puts everything in his mouth. Oftentimes, the parts that the toy is made of, or are attached to the toy, are more dangerous than the toy that actually warns of a hazard. Beware of small balls and objects that could become lodged in baby’s throat, again posing potential hazards.
If you are purchasing a toy that plays music or makes noise, keep in mind that if the toy is loud to you, chances are it will be too loud for the child you are buying it for. Children’s ears are more sensitive to damage from loud noise, and an acceptable range for you is too loud for them, causing potential hearing damage.
Any kind of markers, paints, or glue should be labeled non toxic. You should also check any kind of pretend make-up, or any solution type toy that your child may play with. Since most things will eventually wind up in your child’s mouth, this is a big issue to be aware of.
Any kid of battery powered toy should have the batteries checked regularly to avoid any chemical leakage. Old batteries sometimes burst, or leak, causing a potential health risk. Try to avoid purchasing electric powered toys, especially for young children.
There are many websites online that sell toys, but keep in mind that unless the toy is in its original packaging, it may not have the warnings with it. You will have to spend more time inspecting these toys before you give them to your children, and that time may not be worth the savings you get from purchasing the toy online in the first place.
Keep up with any toy recalls, and if you own a recalled toy, be certain to either send it back to the manufacturer, or throw it away as soon as possible. If a toy gets recalled, it is for a good reason.
You cannot control every single thing that your children may have access too, but you can help teach caregivers and friends what is safe, enabling them to help you in the battle to protect your children. Avoid giving in, even if they plead for a toy that you know is not safe. Remember, it is your job to protect them, and keep them healthy and happy.