Buy only age-appropriate toys. Most accidents involving toys happen because young children play with toys that were not made for their age.
For instance, toys for children below age 3 are made with parts that are not too small to avoid swallowing, ingestion, and consequently, choking.
Holes in toys should be big enough so that little fingers will not get caught and trapped in them.
Share toys safely. Parents must be aware that toys made for older kids are dangerous for younger children. Teach your older kids not to leave their toys lying around for their baby siblings to play with. Explain to them that leaving their toys lying carelessly around may hurt their younger sibling.
Read toy labels carefully. Parents must educate themselves by understanding what the signs and symbols stand for on toy labels. All toy packaging are marked with an age warning symbol stating for which age a particular toys is or isn’t appropriate.
Teach your child to use the toys properly. Some accidents happen not because the toys are poorly made or contain unsafe materials or parts, but because they are improperly used. Teach your child how to use their toys by explaining to them how it works. Emphasize that toys are not to be thrown at or used to hit other kids, must not be left lying around on the floor, and must be put back in their proper place after use.
Teach fair play. Any toy can be a cause for accidents when misused. Throwing, banging, and using toys to hit someone can pose as a hazard for kids.
Check for paint, lacquer, or varnish. Any toy that contains paint, lacquer, or varnish must not be given to children, as these substances are harmful, especially when ingested.
Check small details such as buttons and zippers, hair, and/or fillings. If you think your child’s stuffed bear or doll is totally safe, think again. Regularly check if toy parts or a dolls’ clothing have buttons or zippers that are loose, torn, or broken. Buttons, noses, or eyes may come loose, fall off, and accidentally be swallowed by children. Synthetic hair or stuffed toy filling collect dust and bacteria that may cause your child to develop allergies or rashes.
Choose reliable brands. This isn’t to say that one should go for the fanciest, most expensive, or most popular brand of toy. Just keep in mind that well-known brands have established a name for themselves because of their dedication to produce well-designed products and to adhere to quality control and strict safety guidelines.
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