Toys are a childhood treasure – and no baby nursery is complete without them. Branded, homemade or hand-me-down, toys should not only be fun but safe too. When buying toys for baby, choose them with care, keeping in mind your baby’s age and interests as well as skill levels.
A Few Tips To Help Ensure Your Baby’s Safety:
Toys should not have any sharp corners or edges, rough surfaces, or sharp points. Run your hand over toys to make sure they are smooth.
Always follow all manufacturers’ age recommendations. Some toys have small parts that can cause choking, so heed all warnings on a toy’s packaging.
Check to see if the toy has been recalled by a certifying authority or by the manufacturer
Pearl or beaded necklaces, ribbons and lace are unsuitable for babies. Babies can easily get tangled in them and choke.
Toys with long strings, cords or loops can become wrapped around a baby’s neck, resulting in strangulation. Make sure to remove mobiles completely from your baby’s crib before he or she is five months old.
Foam rubber parts, modeling clay and other items that babies can tear or bite pieces from are dangerous. Balls and other toys made of foam-like materials may be hazardous if the baby bites off pieces and attempts to swallow them.
Make sure that stuffed animals are washable (so they won’t become a breeding ground for germs) and that they don’t have easily removable parts, such as eyes or nose. These parts could become dislodged and find their way easily into baby’s mouth.
Check squeeze toys and make sure they don’t contain a squeaker that will detach, posing a choking hazard
Hand-me-down and homemade toys should be carefully evaluated. They may not have undergone testing for safety. Do not give your infant painted toys made before 1978; as the paint may contain lead.
Stuffed animals and other toys that are sold or given away at carnivals, fairs, and in vending machines are not required to meet safety standards. Check carnival toys carefully for loose parts and sharp edges before giving them to your infant.
Never give balloons or latex gloves to a child younger than age 8. A child who is blowing up or chewing on a balloon or gloves can choke by inhaling them. Inflated balloons pose a risk because they can pop without warning and be inhaled.
As for toy chests, use one that has a lid that will stay open in any position and will not fall unexpectedly on your baby or toddler. Be sure that there isn’t a lid latch that could trap your child within the chest. When purchasing a toy chest, look for one that has ventilation holes or spaces in the front or sides, for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze