Toy Safety

Girl Riding Bike

Girl Riding Bike

We love to keep our kids entertained. Often that involves choosing toys for them to have fun with, learn, or just be active. The toy you choose however is dependent on more than whether or not the child likes it. The most important factor in toy buying is the issue of safety.

With so many different toys on the market, there is no one size fits all approach. Every toy that makes it to store shelves must meet government set standards. Ultimately though, it is up to you and your comfort level. When in doubt, don’t buy it. Remember that it’s not always design flaws that pose a risk to young children, accidents do happen.

Risks Associated with Playtime

Choking – some toys have small parts that can detach easily, or come loose because of rough play.

Drowning – any toy that can be filled with water for the child to play in requires adequate supervision. A child can drown even in a small amount of water.

Strangulation – some toys have cords or shorts ropes attached which can be a serious hazard.

Cuts – toys should be regularly checked for breaks which can lead to cuts. Also, avoid buying toys that have parts sharp enough to cause injury.

Motor vehicle accidents – there have been numerous cases of children getting hit while chasing runaway toys. It goes without saying that kids need to be closely watched when playing with balls or similar toys.

Injury from projectiles – it is never a good idea to give a young child a toy that fires projectiles. Serious eye injuries are a constant risk. Although the toy industry has created toys that fire soft projectiles a little caution can’t hurt.

Lead Paint – while this is no longer a common occurrence, there have been enough reports in the media lately to cause concern. If you’re worried about your child’s toys, you can purchase a home lead testing kit, but understand that they are somewhat limited. Contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission for advice if you’re worried about possible lead risks.

It’s always best to get age appropriate toys. Age guidelines should be printed on the packaging. If not, it probably shouldn’t be on the shelf in the first place. Consumer protection groups should have adequate information on toy safety, and toy safety standards. Also, browsing online should also provide reviews on toys so you can make an informed decision when it comes to choosing your child’s toys.

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