While all toys look appealing to children and parents, there may be an element of danger hidden within some of them. Read on to understand how to ensure your child’s safety while choosing toys.
1. Buy age-appropriate toys – always check the intended age group printed on the package!
2. Remove plastic wraps from the toys before giving the toys to your child. Plastic covers are dangerous as the child can easily pull them over the head and suffocate.
3. Strictly avoid toys with sharp edges – for obvious reasons!
4. Buy only toys made of non-toxic materials (Examples of toxic materials : BPA, PVC, Polystyrene, Plasticizers, Lead)
5. Rattles are the most popular toys for toddlers. The guidelines states that rattles must be at least 4 cm across and there should be no detachable parts to avoid choking
6. Thinking of getting that iconic squeaky duck toy? Ensure that the squeaker cannot be detached – it is usually small enough for your toddler to swallow.
7. Check toys thoroughly for small parts which can easily fit into your toddler’s mouth.
8. Toys with magnets, particularly those with detachable ones, are a strict NO. If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can get attached inside the body and cause intestinal blockages, perforations and worse, death.
9. Avoid fur toys for toddlers. Fur can store a lot of dust.
10. Balloons are fun! However, they are not suitable for toddlers as they may swallow a deflated balloon. Remove any broken pieces on the floor to address swallowing hazards.
11. Do not give your toddler any toy that needs to be plugged into an electrical source.
12. Mobile phones are not toys. Convey that message firmly to your toddler.
13. In battery-powered toys, ensure that the lid covering the battery is secured with a screw. Do not go for toys with sliding covers over the batteries and strictly avoid toys with button-type batteries (this may cause choking or swallowing hazards)
14. Do not opt for toys with mechanical parts such as springs, gears, wheels or hinges for your toddler. They could trap your child’s tiny fingers, hair and may even latch on to his/her lips when he/she brings the toys close to his/her mouth.
15. Avoid noisy toys. According to the AAP guidelines, noise levels at or about 100 decibels (the sound of a typical cap gun at close range) can be harmful for your toddler’s ears.
16. Projectile toys are not suitable either. They can cause eye injuries. Also, if an older child plays with it, instruct him/her not to fire anything at his/her toddler brother or sister with the projectile toy.