Better Parenting

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What Makes a Toy Unsafe for Very Young Children?

 

Toys are your child’s most prized possessions. In most rooms of a child’s home, you will find some of their toys. They play with them from morning to night, learning as they play and developing their senses. However, with such a huge range of toys available on the market today, it is worth stopping and considering whether all of your child’s toys are actually safe? What is it that makes a toy unsafe for very young children, and how can you avoid unsafe toys? Let’s look at some of the most issues that present in unsafe children’s toys.

Toxic Materials

Young children love to put things in their mouths – it is one of the ways that they learn about things. With this in mind, you should never buy a toy that has not specified that it is made of non-toxic materials. This is not just limited to plastics, but painted toys too. Always make sure that the paint used on children’s toys is lead-free and safe for children.

 

Flammable

When considering soft toys, material toys or stuffed animals, always check whether the toy is flame resistant. Stuffed toys or materials that are not flame retardant are equivalent to your child playing with a teddy bear of kindling for a fire. Don’t take the risk. Avoid non flame retardant or flame resistant toys.

 

Age Guidelines

Age guidelines do not exist solely based on mental development. Your 2-year-old child may be well able to understand a game that is marked as suitable for 5 and up, but that does not mean that the game is safe for them. It could have small parts or detachable pieces. Always err on the side of caution when it comes to age guidelines on toys.

 

Cheap

There is nothing wrong with getting a bargain on your toys, but you should always make sure that the cheap price is not reflective of a poor build quality. Cheap, knock-off toys often use inferior materials that make them more likely to break, or to be made of materials that could be harmful to your child. When it comes to toys, go with a reputable brand.

 

Projectiles, Strings, and Small Pieces

Some parents often decide that because their child has shown no indication of putting anything in their mouth they can be trusted with toys not suitable for their age. This includes toys that fire projectiles, toys with strings or pull-chords and toys with small, detachable pieces. No matter how much confidence you have in your young child, it is simply not worth the risk. A child can choke on a small object in a frighteningly short amount of time. Your child has plenty of years ahead of them to play with these kinds of toys, so don’t rush it. It’s not worth the risk.

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