How To Ensure The Toys You Buy For Kids Are Safe
There are some very strict safety regulations that attempt to insure the safety of toys that are sold. But even with the strict regulations there are occasions from time to time where unsafe toys make it into the market.
As a whole the regulations that are in place to ensure toy safety have been very successful. When compared to the number of toys that are sold on the market each year there have been very few incidents which were caused by unsafe or defective toys.
Most accidents are caused by improper usage or common accident such as tripping on them. In the few cases where defective or unsafe toys have made it into the market they were recalled fairly quickly. But this is no reason for parents not let their guard down when buying toys.
Check the safety label:
The first thing that should be checked when buying a toy is whether or not is has the appropriate safety labels. The primary label would be that of the one which signify that the toy meets the minimum safety standards.
The next important labels to look for when shopping for toys would be age labels. You should always follow age guidelines, as they are an essential part of toy safety.
Most toys have age labels, even if they are not legally required. Any toy that is not suitable for children under 36 months must have a visible label stating so.
Though, in general most toys show guidance as to what age group they are designed for. These guidelines let you know what age group will benefit the most from the toy, in terms of development, fun, and understanding. Here is a brief guide of different kinds of toys and what age group they are intended for:
Under three years
For this age group the greatest threat that toys pose is a choking hazard. Most everything a baby or a toddler get their hands on, ends up in their mouth. For this reason, very small toys or toys with small parts are most unsuitable. Be sure to keep marbles and small balls or buttons out of their reach; be very careful with inflatable toys and balloons; and avoid the toys with sharp edges.
Three to five years
Children of this age are full of discovery and are capable of playing with more sophisticated toys. However, you should still be very cautious as some toys could still pose a risk to them. Avoid toys made with thin plastic that might break and cause injury and still watch for small parts that they may still be tempted to put in their mouth.
Six to twelve years
By this age range, children will be able to safely play with almost any toy they are given. However, always read hazard warnings and instruction guides. For example, if you buy a trampoline you will need to carry out maintenance on it on a regular basis. If you buy a bike or skateboard for your child, you should also buy appropriate protective equipment.
Things can get a little complicated when you have children of varying ages. When you have lots of different toys that are suitable for varying ages you have to stay vigilant.
For starters, you should teach older children to keep their toys out of reach of younger children, especially when they contain small parts or easy breakable. It is at best if you do not put different age toys into one toy bin. Have a separate box or bin for each child and make sure they do not swap out toys.
In principle, it is a clever idea to be organized and keep the toys in order. Having toys lying around the house is a main cause of accidents. If you have children of varying ages, this can be dangerous and expose younger children to access toys not intended for their age group.
Always keep in mind that children are intended to play with the toys, but all the maintenance, as changing of batteries must be done by an adult.
Toy safety labels offer an important safeguard against dangerous toys reaching our children, but it is just as important to use your own common sense. Before purchasing a toy, examine it thoroughly yourself to make sure that it is sturdy and well-constructed. Check for any sharp edges or pointy corners, especially when buying toys for a toddler. As example, if you are buying a stuffed animal make sure all stitching is secure and small items like the eyes or nose will not off easily.