Toys are supposed to produce joy, not injury. Unfortunately, mainly because people don’t pay attention to some basic issues, toys can sometimes end up hurting or even killing small children instead of bringing them happiness. Here are a few safety tips for toys:
Pay attention to the recommended age on the toy that you are purchasing. Many toys are simply not safe for smaller children because they pose a chocking hazard. If there are small parts that can be detached and swallowed they are simply not acceptable for children under 3 years of age.
Make sure that stuffed toys have sturdy seams and that eyes, buttons and small parts are firmly attached. Check your children’s stuffed toys regularly to make sure that these items are still secure and aren’t loose. Mend them if they are so that small children don’t choke on them.
Read the directions on the toys to make sure that you know how they are intended to be used. Instructions may also give you information on particular hazards to be aware of or guard against.
Make sure you teach your children how to use the toy properly and what not to do with it.
Make sure that toys with batteries are properly sealed up so that children don’t get to the batteries and swallow them. This has become a bigger problem in the past few years as batteries have gotten smaller, especially with the button batteries.
If you purchase toys from a second-hand store, make sure there aren’t any recalls on them. Stores that sell new toys would have pulled them from the shelves and they would no longer be available but thrift stores would not take the time to make sure the items that they sell haven’t been recalled. Thanks to the marvel of the internet it’s a simple as a couple mouse clicks. Go to cpsc.gov/en/Recalls to make sure the toys you give are safe.
While this is by no means an exhaustive list, adhering to these basic safety tips should avoid most potential issues. Have a fun and safe gift giving season.