There are millions and millions of toys all over the world and probably hundreds (or more) of new ones that are appearing and hitting stores and web sites every year. Toys are things that bring fun and enjoyment to children and they are also the most vital part of their development; but no matter how much fun these toys are, there have been a lot of reports about children being treated in emergency rooms because of toy-related injuries or accidents. Choking is one of the most known risks among kids aged three or younger since these little ones tend to put every object they find in their mouths. Though manufacturers follow important guidelines and ensure to label most of the new toys that are specific for age groups, it is still highly important for parents to supervise the playtime of their children.
Here are some of the safety guidelines to remember when shopping for toys:
- Read the Label
Keep in mind that warning labels are important since these provide pertinent information on how to use a certain toy and for what ages it is appropriate for. After reading the label, be sure to teach your child how to use the item so they can fully enjoy playing and learning. If you are purchasing an electric toy for your child, make sure that this is UL-approved and you will see this on the label.
- Consider the Age of your Child
When shopping for toys, always consider the age of your child. If there are no age recommendations on the toy’s label and you cannot figure out if it is age appropriate for your little one, read the instructions and see if it is safe for your child to handle. However, if you are picking out a toy for your young child, preschooler or infant, make sure that the toy you are selecting does not include any small accessories or pieces that can pose a choking hazard; additionally, you should also consider the physical capabilities of your child when purchasing a toy for him or her.
- Stay Away from Toxic Toys
There are a couple of toys in the market that appear to be safe but if you do a little research and dig deeper, you will see that the toy’s material is actually made from toxic and dangerous chemicals. Ensure that the toys you purchase are all safe for your little ones and see to it that these do not contain any of the following: Lead, Mercury, Cadmium, or Arsenic.
- Ensure the Quality of the Toys
When shopping for toys, make sure that the item that you select is made from high-quality materials; remember that poorly-made toys are liable to have dangerously sharp edges; they will also break easily compared to toys that are made of high-quality materials. Also keep in mind that stuffed animals can pose a danger too, especially when their eyes (which are usually buttons or pellets) aren’t sewn properly and securely. These can pose dangerous choking hazards especially to children aged three and below who usually chew on anything that they can reach.