The right toys usually help children develop their coordination and imaginative skills, while the wrong ones often cause harm. Each year, the emergency room receives hundreds of children suffering from toy-related injuries. If children play with age-appropriate toys, then we can prevent such accidents from happening.
It’s quite unfortunate that some toy manufacturing companies don’t follow their products safety guidelines. In this case, it’s the parent’s responsibility to get appropriate toys for the young ones.
Guidelines for Selecting Developmentally Appropriate Toys
These tips will come in handy when choosing gifts for children:
#1. Check out for smaller parts
Small children and toddlers shouldn’t play with toys that feature tiny parts as they always put everything in their mouths. Small pieces tend to increase the risk of choking.
Choose toys that suit the interests, skills, abilities, and age of your child. Parents should also note that more advanced toys can get in the way of safety when it comes to children.
#3. Buy standard toys
Check for the “ATSM” label which means the products meet all safety standards usually set by the American Society for Testing and Materials. When shopping for toys, ensure you also read any warnings on the labels. Plus, check the website for recall alerts and toys on Consumer Product Safety Commissions.
#4. Noise levels
Don’t buy toys with shrill and loud noises to avoid ear injury.
#5. Go for quality stuffed animals.
Small parts like eyes and nose of stuffed animals should be fastened securely to minimize choking risk.
#6. AVOID Hobby Kits
Don’t buy hobby kits like chemistry sets for children 12 years and below. When the older ones play with the toys ensure you provide supervision.
#7. Check the action
Avoid toys with flying parts or those that shoot. Don’t consider high-powered water guns and slingshots as toys as they can easily injure children.
#8. No heat
Children toys should not have any electric heating components.
#9. Solid construction
The toys shouldn’t have sharp points and edges. They should be made with durable materials and survive the impact.
#10. Check the warning labels on the toys
For safety and development reasons, age labels are usually provided. Ensure you go through the instructions carefully for your child’s safety.
When you have selected the toys, take steps to ensure the safety of your toddlers. Here are some tips that will help:
- Always demonstrate and explain how the toys are used.
- Throw away or repair damaged toys.
- Separate the toys
Keep toys for younger ones separate from those of older children.
- Watch how children use toys.
Don’t allow your children to play with the toys in dangerous ways.
- Trash the toy wrappings
Ensure you dispose of the wrappings. Plastic bags and sharp staples can cause injuries.
- Rules for safety
Make safety rules and share with the children.
By following the above guidelines for selecting developmentally appropriate toys, you will be sure of the safety of your child as well as their intellectual and cognitive growth.