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A parent’s guide to making children’s toys safer

Toys are a multimillion industry around the world with virtually every toy idea already turned into a tangible product there is no doubt that children enjoy toys and we parents are often put under pressure to get the latest and best ones for our kids. As parents we have a duty to ensure the toys we are taking home are safe, not just in the physical sense but that other hidden dangers are evaluated as well, sometimes detecting these potential dangers may not be so obvious especially for busy parents. So how do you decide what is safe and what is not? To answer that question we shall look at some of the facts to look out for, these are by no means the entire picture but they will go a long way in getting you started on taking kids safety with toys more seriously.

The first and most obvious step is toys should be purchased according to the age of the child, the manufacturers often indicate the age specifications on the package they do so having studied thousands of scenarios, for example kids below one year have a tendency to swallow anything they come across and therefore toys that are the size of a fist or less should be avoided, another example may be heavy toys or those that have sharp edges, the take away here is match the toy to the child’s age if you are not sure please ask the shopping assistants they are usually friendly and are trained to assist you.

Buy only original toys

There is a tendency especially in countries that have weak consumer protection in place for toy imitations to flood the market, these are often difficult to differentiate from the genuine ones so care needs to be taken to only get genuine toys, take your time when shopping for a toy do not make the mistake of considering it as an impulse buy because then you may not be critical enough in looking out for safety features and counterfeits. It is even advisable to spend time doing careful research online it just helps you understand what the market thinks of a given toy.

Unpack the toys yourself

A toy maybe safe but have packaging that is potentially dangerous to kids, it’s the reason most manufacturers will alert you to the dangers of suffocation from the plastic sheeting that covers toys, always remove these away and if possible destroy them so as to completely eliminate this risk if you are sending toys over by drop shippers be sure to remind those at home to take care of plastic sheeting as soon as the toys are delivered.

Understand the idea behind the toy

Toys are often made after popular characters such as animals or superheroes and these ultimately have an influence on the thinking of our kids so when deciding what toy to buy take note of the message the toy may pass on to the child’s imagination, avoid toys that portray violence. Watch out for paints that peel of Toys that easily peel off with paint are sure signs of a poor quality toy these should be avoided as the paints can be harmful to children if ingested even in small amounts, one would actually be safer purchasing those with as many natural components as possible you can usually get them custom made at crafts shops like etsy.com

Watch for product recalls and safety notices

It’s a good idea to keep looking out for Government consumer protection notices and product recalls that can be issued at any time, it may just be that a previously unknown fact about a toy has come up that puts the safety of the child at risk in which case the toy has to be sent back, one way to do this is to set up a Google alert for news about a specific toy or set of toys one may have bought such that as soon as something comes up you get an email notification.

Monitor kids closely as they play with toys

It is recommended that parents or nannies supervise kids as they play with their newly acquired toys they should watch out for parts on toys that can easily come off end up in the mouth or those that are sharp and can cause injury through piercing. Reviews and online forums can be your safety allies Watch out for consumer reviews from parents that have already purchased these toys for their kids, most shopping sites like Amazon provide users with a chance to leave feedback on items purchased what can be better recommendation or warning that from a parent who purchased a toy. Another place to find these reviews is searching online for forums dedicated to these toys most of them require a simple sign up in order to access deeper level content which in my opinion is worth it if the reason is ensuring the safety of kids.

Encourage kids to come up with their own toy ideas

While commercial toys are generally the norm these days they may not necessarily encourage creativity among kids, it is a good idea to let kids come up with their own toy ideas and as parents we can support them build up these toys, most components can be easily obtained naturally or purchased from the local stores, ideas for natural toys are many and all around us from animal characters all the way to cars. Even simple wheels that can be pulled along are great in stimulating the thinking of the little ones

Store toys safely to avoids falls

Toys that are seemingly safe on the ground can be dangerous if stored wrongly, avoid placing toys in high lockups or tables where a kid can pull a cord or string and bring the toy tumbling down. One can allocate sections of the house where all the kids’ toys will be stored on the floor and can be safely accessed by the kids. Family


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