Wednesday, July 17
Avoid Toys with Small Parts or Choking Hazards

One of the most critical factors to check for in children’s toys is whether they contain small parts or pieces that may present choking hazards. It is particularly relevant for toddlers, who have a natural tendency to put objects in their mouths. To prevent accidents, be vigilant with playthings that have removable parts or components smaller than 1.75 inches. This measurement corresponds with the size of a standard choke tube tester—a tool designed to determine if an object poses a choking risk. For a complete list of child-safe toys visit reputable toy stores, like Kids World and see the list here.

Check for Sharp Edges or Points on Toys

Evaluating toys for sharp edges or protruding points is essential, as these features can cause injury to both the child playing with them and other family members in the household. Take extra care when selecting metal or plastic toys, as they can easily develop jagged edges over time due to wear and tear. Regularly inspect beloved playthings for damage that may warrant repair or disposal.

Choose Non-Toxic Toys Made of Natural Materials

Another factor to consider when shopping for toddler toys is their toxicity level. Studies reveal that certain materials, such as plastics with phthalates and lead-painted wood, may release harmful chemicals if ingested or handled inappropriately. To protect your child from these hazards, opt for playthings made of natural materials like organic cotton, untreated wood, or eco-friendly rubber. These alternatives are not only safer but also better for the environment overall.

Store Toys Safely to Prevent Accidents

Proper storage plays a crucial role in preventing accidents related to toys. Designate a specific area where all playthings can be neatly stored after use to avoid tripping hazards or accidental ingestion of small parts by younger siblings. Encouraging your toddler to clean up after themselves sets good habits, fosters responsibility, and contributes to household safety. Consider using toy boxes, bins or organizers that children can easily access and navigate.

Avoid Toys That Shoot Objects or Fly Through the Air

While projectile-launching or flying toys often seem exciting and engaging, they can risk accidents and injury if used improperly. Rapidly moving or propelled components may come into contact with delicate body parts, including eyes and faces, leading to severe consequences for young children. Instead, focus on finding age-appropriate toys that encourage exploration and imaginative play without posing physical risks.

Be Cautious with Second-Hand Toys

Second-hand toys might appear to be an economical choice, but some worn or broken playthings may become dangerous. Always thoroughly inspect second-hand items for cracks, peeling paint, or fraying cords before introducing them to your child’s play area. Additionally, research whether any older toys have been flagged for potential safety recalls or concerns.

Keep Small Balls and Deflated Balloons Away

Young children should be kept away from small balls or deflated balloons as they can cause choking hazards. Ensure any ball used for play is large enough that it cannot fit inside the child’s mouth easily. Similarly, consider using Mylar or foil balloons instead of latex varieties, which can pose a significant suffocation risk if ingested accidentally.

Select Plastic-Free Playthings

A wise choice when picking out toys for your toddler is to select items made without plastics. Opt for eco-friendly options such as cardboard games and puzzles, fabric dolls, and wooden rattles. These alternatives not only lessen the environmental impact but can also contribute to unique and imaginative play experiences for young ones.

Crib Tents Can Be Dangerous for Toddlers

While crib tents may initially seem like an ideal solution for keeping curious toddlers contained during bedtime or naptime, they have been associated with multiple injuries and even fatalities due to entrapment or strangulation. For this reason, experts discourage their use in homes with young children.

Avoid Buying Cot Toys, Cot Bumpers, and Cot Nests

Although cot toys, bumpers, and nests might make for a visually attractive nursery, research indicates that they often present unnecessary risks. SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and suffocation have both been linked to these types of accessories; therefore, it is best to avoid them altogether and follow official guidelines on creating a safe sleep environment for your little one.

Buy Toys Only from Reputable Outlets with CE Symbol or UKCA Mark

Last but not least, purchasing toys from reputable outlets guarantees adherence to strict safety standards, ensuring your choices are age-appropriate and built to withstand regular use. Look for the CE symbol or UKCA mark on packaging, as these icons indicate compliance with safety regulations in the European Union and the United Kingdom, respectively.

By following these guidelines, not only can you foster a safe and enjoyable play environment for your toddler, but you will also encourage their cognitive and creative development through the thoughtful selection of age-appropriate experiences.”

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