7 Tips For Choosing Safe Toys For Your Kids
Toys are essential to the proper growth and development of kids. When given the right playthings, children will be able to develop their fine motor, problem-solving, and social skills, creative thinking, and a better attention span.
A clutching toy, for instance, will help toddlers improve grasping and fine motor skills. This type of toy is also helpful in teaching kids the basic shapes and colors.
Toy Shopping Tips
Although toys provide numerous benefits to kids, the wrong ones can cause harm to them as well. Not all playthings are safe since some can become choking hazards or have sharp parts that could hurt your little ones. To avoid these potential risks, it is important to choose toys that are safe for kids to play with.
Here are some tips for selecting the best toys that are also safe for your little ones:
1. Don’t buy cheap toys
It can be tempting to buy really cheap toys. After all, your kids will have more toys to play with if you get inexpensive ones. However, they are affordable for several reasons: they are made of low-quality materials and created with shoddy workmanship, to name a couple.
Because of these reasons, cheap toys present the biggest problems, especially in terms of choking hazards. As such, stay away from these kinds of playthings.
2. Choose age-appropriate toys
Consider the age of your children when shopping for toys. Their age is a big factor that can ensure their safety. Keep in mind that a toy for a three-year-old child could have parts too small for a toddler to handle.
Most toys have clear age ranges printed on their packaging which you can follow, but it is also important to consider the individual child you're buying for. Assess their maturity and take note of their typical behaviors. Do they like putting things in their mouth or disassembling toys?
When buying new toys, aside from your kids’ ages:
● Consider their interest and skill levels
● Consider the ages, the needs and, characteristics of other children (younger siblings, playmates, etc.) who will play with the toy, too.
3. Steer clear of toys with the usual hazards
Avoid buying toys that could harm or injure your kids or their playmates. These obvious hazards include:
● Toys with sharp ends or edges
● Toys with parts that can be easily swallowed
● Projectile toys or toys that shoot pointed objects such as slingshots and bows and arrows. These items can cause facial or eye injuries
● Toys with straps or strings over 7 inches. They are strangulation hazards
● Fabric toys that are not flame-resistant
4. Look for toys made of eco-friendly materials
Toys made of plastic often contain PVC, phthalates, or other chemicals and toxins that are harmful to kids. It is best to choose toys made of sustainable and recyclable materials such as wood and natural fabrics.
Toys made from wood and natural fabrics are more durable and can last longer. They do not have sharp edges and do not have parts that break easily which your kids can put in their mouth.
5. Choose non-toxic toys
Check the toy’s label to ensure that it is made of or contains non-toxic materials. If the toy is painted, make sure the paint used is lead-free. Check if the toy has a durable finish as well.
In case you’re buying arts and crafts supplies, make sure it reads “non-toxic” on their labels. Products that do not contain this statement are not appropriate and safe for kids of any age.
6. Avoid buying toys and other items with magnets
Magnets are one of the most dangerous items kids can play with. When swallowed, a magnet can tear tissues and cause damage to the intestines, which can result in serious injury. In some cases, they can be fatal, too.
As such, avoid buying building sets, action figures, dolls, and other toys that have or contain magnets. If this is unavoidable, make sure the magnet is glued or attached properly and tightly and that no amount of force can remove it.
7. Opt for washable stuffed toys
Lastly, all kids love stuffed toys, so give them a few of these toys as well. However, choose ones that are washable and can be easily disinfected.
Many stuffed toys are prone to germs and dust mites. It is important to clean and wash these toys regularly to ensure that they are safe and healthy for your children to play with. Stuffed toys that are machine-washable are the best to get so that you won’t have a hard time washing them.
Nothing beats the feeling of seeing your little ones’ faces light up when you give them a new toy. But you will certainly have peace of mind and ensure your kids’ well-being all the time if you spend time looking for the safest toys to give them.
If you have other handy tips for choosing safe toys to give to your kids, do share them below.
Sreeya Patil Wiesner is the founder of Ecotoys in Dubai, UAE . She started her online toy store with an aim to provide healthy, safe and eco-friendly wooden toys to kids 0-6 years of age in the UAE.