Can we imagine a childhood without a toy? Impossible!!! Even before birth of a child, parents start thinking about different toys for the child. They even start buying before the birth of child. They want to buy best of the best toy. They want to fill the child’s life with fun, maximum fun. Along with fun, there is a very important aspect in process of selecting toys for kids, that is safety. Though it is a subtle aspect but it is of prime importance. Do we actually keep this aspect in mind? While selecting a toy, do we pay attention to this safety aspect? If not, then as a responsible parent, we should immediately. What should we do to pay attention to safety? What all safety parameters we should consider? Here is a guide to choose safe toys for kids.
Selecting Safe Toys for Kids
Suitable for Age:
Now a days most of the toys have label mentioning minimum age or permissible age limits. In general, the manufacturer has indicated to which age group the toy is suitable to play. We can rely on this calibration and apply our own thinking on top of it. We can think if it is suitable for own child. Each child is different. Some children are very active and very rough with things. Nothing wrong. In this case, a toy suitable for other children may become dangerous for these kids. Such factors need to be considered explicitly. Even one must verify the suitability on own norms, because, branded and big toy manufacturers may take this aspect seriously. But local manufacturers may print this for just the sake of label. It also depends on how serious laws of that area are against such offenses. Hence best way is parents applying their own judgement and re-verifying the suitability.
This type of hazard is possible with smaller kids primarily. If a toy is very small or contains detachable small parts, then children can put those in mouth and get such things stuck up in throat. Many kids have this habit of putting things in mouth up to couple of years age. It may be the case that children sense those things through taste. Hence they tend to put things in mouth. Hence ensure the toy or toy parts are not small enough to cause this hazard.
Children can hold things tightly, brush their hands, or legs against things very hard. This may lead to cutting hazards if that toy has sharp edges. If children are grown enough to understand what is sharp edge, then a toy with sharp edge can be safe with such kids. But if that is not the case, then check if the toy has sharp edges or removal of a part can result an edge. Scissors, knifes, staplers are coming in hazard safe form. E.g. Scissors don’t have sharp tips. Size of blade is very small. Choose appropriate ones considering this aspect.
It has to do with the material of toy. There are two common ways of this hazard – immediate effect and slow effect. As an immediate effect, toys can cause poisoning effects if children lick the toy or put a hand in mouth after playing with those. The material itself contains chemical that is not suitable for children. Sometimes toys cause eye irritation, or irritation in nose, skin redness and so on. We may not come to know such things while buying a toy, but if possible, little bit of smelling can help. Observing children playing with such a toy can give an idea about it. Second type of toys become toxic after keeping those for few days. Slowly the material starts decomposing or changing the material due to exposure to environment factors. Different type of gases may start coming out of material which can cause toxic effects on children. One needs to be very careful with this type of hazards, because it may cause long term effects on children.
Fire, water, or any other material coming out of toys may cause that type of hazards to children or surrounding things. Hence it is must to consider these things while selecting a toy. Consider age of kid and the kind of hazard a toy can cause, and see if child will be able to cope up with that.
It has nothing to do with manufacturing of toy but the kind of toy it is. There are many TV programs which are so violent in nature that those are not suitable for children. But toy manufacturers come up with toys similar to the weapons used in such programs. Definitely children tend to watch such programs and use those toys as a weapon. Nature is similar to the program heroes, Violent. It is also applicable to how many toy weapons a child has in collection. If there are too many guns in child’s toy stock, then the child is going to think of those continuously. You will see child’s behaviour changing. Hence limit such a type of toys.
Interesting factor but worth considering. Some of toys are build to get dirty quickly, especially soft toys. It may happen that we do not clean those so frequently, and at the end those cause trouble to children through infections and allergies. You may want to keep this aspect also in mind while choosing a toy.
Some of you might have got afraid of toy selection process by reading so many parameters. But if we are choosing something for our loved one’s, then we must consider value and safety also. In short, precaution is better than correcting the hazards caused by unsafe toys. You can share your considerations here.