Kids love toys. Toys are more than just fun and games for kids. The right toys can help children develop imagination and coordination. The wrong ones can do more harm than good. It’s therefore important for parents to check out their children’s toys and supervise when they play. Here are 10 buying tips to keep in mind when shopping for toys.
Always read labels
Labels always give important information about the toy. Like how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for. Always read them to ensure the toy you’re buying is appropriate for a child’s age.
Watch for small parts. Always think “Large”
Children tend to put things in their mouths. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than your child’s mouth to prevent choking.
Avoid toys that shoot
Toy guns and high-powered water guns can injure children they are aimed at. They can cause serious eye injuries or choking.
Avoid toys that make loud noises
Avoid toys that make loud noises. Loud toys can damage your child’s hearing.
Choose well-made stuffed toys that are washable
Washable because stuffed toys can easily get dirty. Make sure they have no detachable small parts attached to them to reduce the risk of choking.
Choose toys that are strong enough to survive impact
Choose toys that are also unbreakable and strong enough to withstand chewing. The toy should also have no sharp edges or points.
Choose toys that are nontoxic
Read the label. Make sure the label says the toy you’re buying is nontoxic. Art materials for kids should say nontoxic.
No hobby kits for children younger than 12
If your child is younger than 12, avoid hobby kits. Such as chemistry sets. They can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals. If your child is 12 or older than 12, make sure she knows how to safely handle their hobby kits.
Be careful when buying battery-powered toys
They should be SIRIM-approved. And they should have battery cases that can’t be easily opened – secured with screws so that kids can’t pry them open. Also, avoid toys with electric heating elements.
Do a safety inspection on all the toys you have bought
What to look for? Any toys that could increase the risk of entrapment, suffocation, or strangulation. Avoid toys with strings longer than 7 inches (18 centimetres).
Toy safety resources
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP): The AAP has several resources on toy safety, including advice on selecting toys for babies and young children, tips on storing toys, and guidance on preventing toy-related injuries.
The Toy Association: The Toy Association, a nonprofit trade organization, maintains the PlaySafe.org website, where you can find safety tips, age-appropriate buying guides, and year-by-year toy recalls.
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