Kids love to play with toys, and parents’ love that their kids are being entertained. When you’re standing in the middle of the toys at a store, it can be overwhelming to choose the best toy for your child. Is it safe, what’s this toy made out of, is there lead in the paint, will my child like this toy? Most importantly, when you are choosing a toy for your child, make sure that it is safe. Here are some tips on toy safety that can help you make your decision when buying children’s toys.
The most important safety tip is checking to see if the toy is age appropriate. Most toys or games have an age level somewhere on the box. Buying a toy designed for a three year old could be hazardous if you are letting a small infant play with it. The age levels on toys and games are defined by the Toy Industry Association and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The age levels take into account the ability of a child’s age to handle a certain type of toy.
Once you have found toys that are age appropriate, look for sharp edges or other harmful aspects on a toy. Are there small pieces that may easily break or be removed from the toy that a child could swallow? Is the toy broken and will it scratch my child? Toys can be damaged during the shipping process, and should be returned because they are unsafe to play with. Also, if your child breaks a toy it is best not to let them keep it or repair it yourself. Children often put toys in their mouths and glue can be harmful or toxic.
Recently, the toy industry has had to recall toys from stores. There has been lead found in the paint and some toys have been malfunctioned. Check with toy stores to see if they have a list of recalled toys or research online. Once you have the list of recalled toys, go through your child’s toys and make sure you don’t have any of those toys. If you do, return them to the manufacture.
If you are buying toys for another kid for a birthday party or holiday, it never hurts to ask their parents what they think would be an appropriate toy. Some parents may have their own guidelines for age level appropriateness of a toy. Also, some parents may have a personal preference on the types of toys their child plays with. Some parents may only allow educational toys in their home, while another parent only allows toys made in the U.S. in their home. A parent knows their child best.
When you have made a final choice for the toys you allow your kids to play with, it is best to teach your kids toy safety. If you bought your kids a basketball, teach them not to run in the street to chase after ball especially if they are young. Also teach your children the difference between indoor and outdoor toys. Flying a plane in the house could break something fragile.