If you’re looking into new toys for your small children, it’s important that the toys you purchase are not only fun, but safe as well. Buying toys for toddlers and babies is uniquely challenging. As they typically haven’t learned many safety practices that have become instinctual to us, so their toys need to account for that. That said, we’ve put together a quick list of tips for buying the safe toys for your babies, so feel free to take a look!
Avoid Small Parts
Small children, especially babies and early toddlers, tend to be in a stage of psychological development known as oral exploration. In layman’s terms, this just means that anything that can fit in their mouth will find its way in there at one point or another. While this isn’t typically a problem, if the things they’re putting in their mouth are small pieces of plastic, metal, or rubber. There’s a very serious risk that they’ll choke. When purchasing toys for kids, be sure to check for small parts. Avoid any toys that have them until your children have learned what is and isn’t safe to swallow.
Ensure Toys Are Durable
No toy is meant to last forever, but buying durable toddler toys is an important element of safety. Even if a toy doesn’t pose a hazard at first, it may eventually break into smaller pieces that do. To prevent your child from choking on or being injured by one of these pieces, be sure that a toy is built to last before purchasing it. Regularly look over your child’s toys to make sure everything is still structurally sound and unlikely to break.
Buy Age-Appropriate Toys
Though it’s easy to overlook the suggested age ranges on toys while you’re shopping. It’s important to pay attention to them if you’re buying for a baby, toddler, or small child. Toys for kids are typically given their age rating based on what’s safe for their intended audience to play with. As well as the developmental progress of that specific age range. For example, a modeling kit may be a great toy for a 10-year-old, but for a 3-year-old, just about every piece in the kit is a significant choking hazard. Checking age ratings will ensure that your child always has toys to play with that are safe and age-appropriate.
Look for Organic Baby Toys
As mentioned earlier, babies and toddlers have a strong tendency to put their mouths on just about anything they can find, including their toys. It’s therefore important to purchase toys that designed with this in mind, and that extends not just to the design of the toy. But to its materials as well. Rather than toys made with potentially harmful paints or other chemicals. We’d recommend shopping for sustainable toys made of organic materials; wooden blocks come to mind.
Throw Away Packaging
When you first receive a toy, it may come sealed in a plastic bag, have some sort of tag attached, or feature other small parts. As soon as you’ve unboxed the toy and given it to your child. Be sure to throw away all of these stray bits of packaging in a place where your child can’t get to them. These seemingly innocuous items may pose a suffocation or choking hazard to a young child who doesn’t know any better. So it’s best to be proactive and get rid of them immediately.
Watch Your Child When They Play
While it’s not feasible to constantly keep your full attention on your child, try to stay in the room with them or check on them while they’re playing. If something goes wrong like a toy breaking or an accident related to a physical toy like a balance board. Being in the room means you’ll be able to respond quickly and make sure the issue is resolved without anything serious happening.
Be Cautious of Batteries and Magnets
Though you should be wary of small parts in general, pay extra careful attention to batteries and magnets and avoid them altogether in the case of younger children. Batteries, when ingested, can cause serious injuries and chemical burns. While magnets inside the body may stick together, causing blockages and other extremely dangerous complications. Avoid buying your children toys with either of these until they’ve moved past the phase of putting everything in their mouth.
Trust Your Gut
Sometimes, a toy checks all the safety boxes, but your intuition as a parent tells you that something’s still wrong. If that ever happens, go with your gut and keep the questionable toy away from your child. Whether the threat to your child’s safety ends up being real or not, by avoiding these questionable toys, you give yourself peace of mind, allowing your child to play freely without any risk of harm.
Looking for more great tips and tricks for finding safe toys for your kids, or a place to buy those toys? Feel free to visit us at ToysCentral today!