You love to pamper your toddler with as many toys you can get hold of. But, are you aware that those seemingly harmless little toys can be the cause of serious accidents? Here are some safety tips to consider while choosing a toy for your toddler.
1. Buy age-appropriate toys. Always check the intended age group printed on the package.
2. Remove plastic wraps from the toys before giving the toys to your child. Plastic covers are dangerous, as the child can pull them over the head and suffocate.
3. Strictly avoid toys with sharp edges.
4. Buy only toys made of non-toxic materials.
5. Rattles are the most popular toys for toddlers. According to the guidelines of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), rattles must be at least 4 cm across and there should be no detachable parts.
6. Getting that beautiful squeaky duck toy? Ensure that the squeaker cannot be detached. It is usually small enough for your toddler to swallow.
7. Check toys thoroughly for small parts which can easily fit into your toddler’s mouth.
8. Toys with magnets, particularly those with detachable ones, are a strict NO. If more than one magnet is swallowed, they can get attached inside the body and cause intestinal blockages, perforations and even death.
9. Avoid fur toys for toddlers.
10. Balloons are fun! However, they are not suitable for toddlers as they may swallow an uninflated balloon. If the event you are hosting has balloon decorations, be extremely careful to remove any broken pieces on the floor. Children may swallow the bits.
11. Do not give your toddler any toy that needs to be plugged into an electrical source.
12. Mobile phones are not toys. Convey that message firmly to your toddler.
13. In battery-powered toys, ensure that the lid covering the battery is secured with a screw. Do not go for toys with sliding covers over the batteries. Your toddler can easily remove the cover. And, strictly avoid toys with button-type batteries.
14. Do not opt for toys with mechanical parts such as springs, gears, wheels or hinges for your toddler. They could trap your toddler’s tiny fingers, hair and may even latch on to toddlers' lips when they bring the toys close to their mouth.
15. Avoid noisy toys. According to the AAP guidelines, noise levels at or about 100 decibels (the sound of a typical cap gun at close range) can be harmful for your toddler’s ears.
16. Projectile toys are not suitable either. They can cause eye injuries. Also, if an older child plays with it, instruct her not to fire anything at her toddler brother or sister with the projectile toy.
The happiness on your toddler’s face when you present her a cute new toy is priceless. By choosing the right kind of toys you can make sure this happiness is not short-lived.