Keep your children safe from hidden elements in toys that aren't suitable for them.
Toys are the treasures of childhood. But if you're not careful, toys can be hazardous, too. Come to think of it, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there are more than 250,000 toy-related injuries that were treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2015. Sadly, about one-third involved kids under 5. To keep your child safe, we’re sharing with you these guidelines when choosing toys.
Pick age-appropriate toys so check the toy for "recommended age" sticker. Be realistic about your child's abilities and maturity level when choosing a toy.
Choose toys that are well-made and check all toys for buttons, batteries, yarn, ribbons, eyes, beads, and plastic parts that could easily be chewed or snapped off. Keep in mind that used toys passed down from older relatives or siblings or bought at garage sales can be worn or frayed, which can sometimes be dangerous.
Think big to avoid choking risk. For instance, until your child turns 3, toy parts should be bigger than his/her mouth to prevent the possibility of choking. So to check whether a toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, then it's not safe.
Make sure your child is physically ready for the toy which can lead to serious injury if a child doesn't have the physical skills to control the toy. For example, parents of older kids may buy a bike one size too big so as not to have to buy a new bike the next year.
Skip the balloons. Why? Latex balloons are the main cause of toy-related choking fatalities in children especially when ingested it can form a tight seal in a child's airway and make it impossible to breathe.
Don't choose heavy toys. Imagine, could your child be harmed if it fell on her? If so, then pass.
Don't choose toys with a string or cord longer than 12 inches. The cord can too easily wrap around a young child's neck, causing strangulation. Even a seemingly harmless old phone with cords can be dangerous for your child.
Avoid toys with small magnets - it is a hidden home hazard simply because it can be swallowed by a child and result in surgery. We recommend keeping toys with magnets away from kids under the age of 14.
Watch out for toxic toys. Even though a toy can seem safe, make sure that they’re not made of chemicals that can harm your child. Phthalates, or "plasticizers," are used to make plastic more flexible and durable, unfortunately, these chemicals are found in many toys. Also, cadmium, lead, mercury, and arsenic are other chemicals you can find in everything from dolls and action figures to children's jewellery and stuffed animals.