You may be a parent who is considerate about their child’s health, food intake, educational stuff, and whatnot. Indeed, there are many toys you have bought for your infants and toddlers. But what is the first thing you check while buying a toy for your kid? It could be the price or its vibrant colours. Have you considered other factors, such as safety, before purchasing your kids' toys?
Kids love to play. From blocks to puzzles to educational toys, they enjoy them all. However, as a parent, you must consider your child's safety regarding toys. Kids do get injured by toys that have blunt edges or hard surfaces. So, as a parent, it is essential to first consider safety, among all other things, before buying a toy.
If you are new to the parenting world and have no idea what to check in a toy regarding safety, then this article is for you.
In this article, you will find in-depth knowledge of what to look for when you buy toys to make sure your child never gets injured by the toys.
The importance of toys in children's lives cannot be overstated. These are very beneficial for their developmental phase as well as growth. According to a research paper , with the help of toys, kids explore more, improving their mental and physical health. In short, there is a long list of reasons why you should buy toys for your babies and toddlers.
Some Important Benefits of Toys for Kids:
- Toys help kids to learn quickly.
- They amuse and entertain children.
- Toys help kids reduce their screen time.
- They boost the creativity of a child.
- Playing with toys helps in developing motor skills.
Toys always fascinate a child as they help them learn and explore new things in their lives. However, a cute colourful toy can become a nightmare if it injures a child. Nobody wants their child to suffer because of the products and things they like using. Therefore, you should consider specific guidelines and tips before choosing any toy for your toddlers and infants. Here are some practical tips for selecting safe toys for infants and toddlers.
Consider this line: if your baby is an infant or a toddler, always go for those large toys. It is because infants usually put everything in their mouths. They explore the toys with their hands, eyes, mouth, etc. So, if you give your small infant toys, it is hazardous. The following are the reason to avoid small toys.
- Kids can quickly gobble up small objects. As a result, choking may happen.
- Kids chew toys. And it would help if you do not give your kids toys made of toxic materials because that would harm their health.
As you know, children can play with a toy in many ways. They create a mess using toys, perhaps using them roughly, biting them, throwing them away, picking them up, or putting them in water. Toys are their way of entertainment, so it is crucial to read all the instructions, warnings, and labels before buying a toy for your babies.
There are specific warnings and labels that most toys have. Make sure to read all the details, precautions, and other important things mentioned in manuals before handing toys to your kids.
The labels usually specify the following things.
- How to use a toy?
- Which age group can use a specific toy safely?
- What to avoid in a toy?
- Whether a toy is toxic or non-toxic.
- Some labels on a toy mention not washing it, so information like this.
- Moreover, information regarding the material used in the toy is given.
All these instructions and labels will give you an idea of how to use the toy and whether it is the best fit for your infant and toddler.
Always opt for age-appropriate toys. The toys suitable for a seven-year-old kid are not ideal for an infant. Choose age-appropriate toys to prevent any harm in your child's way through the toys. Infants love bright, colourful toys, but toys with harsh LED lights or loud voices are unsuitable for infants. Toys help in developmental growth. They aid in a child's physical, emotional, and overall development. Choosing age-appropriate toys can lessen the risk of injuries caused by toys.
Toys with magnets have a deadly impact on children, specifically when they are infants or toddlers. In many countries, higher authorities have banned using toys with magnets. Moreover, paediatricians warn parents not to buy magnet toys especially with small magnets as their results are deadly if swallowed mistakenly. Make sure small magnets are not present in a toy. However, if small magnetic pieces are in the toy, ensure there is no open end so your little one can't ingest them.
While buying toys for your little ones, ensure no long string or cord is attached to them. This is because cords over 7 inches can harm your child by blocking the blood supply if they wrap it around their neck or other body parts. Consider long strings a potential choking hazard, and avoid toys with lengthy cords.
A Real Life Incident:
A case study on magnetic-related foreign body aspiration  on magnet-related foreign body aspiration, 2 kids, one from Lahore and the other from Karachi, were received by Children Hospital Lahore and Aga Khan Hospital Karachi. Both were suffering from magnet-related foreign body aspiration. They both had similar signs and symptoms, including tachypnea, tachycardia, and asymmetric breath sounds on auscultation.
Chest XRAY diagnosis revealed that the kids had inhaled foreign bodies (magnets) that obstructed their breathing in both cases. Moreover, due to the slippery texture of the magnet, bronchoscopy could not detect its presence in both cases, which complicated the condition of both patients. They had to spend 24 to 48 hours in the PICU before removing the magnet. Thoracotomy was performed on both patients to remove the magnet from their bodies. Following surgery, both patients recovered well and were discharged in good health.
Image: An XRAY taken from a child’s thoracic region showing foreign body inhalation.
Always look for a toy that your little one can handle quickly and is durable. Moreover, all edges and other ends must be smooth and not sharp. It can prevent your kid from getting any injury.
Look For Buttons:
If there are buttons in a toy, always ensure they are non-toxic, free of chemicals, and fixed tightly because kids may get hurt from loose button edges & infected if the they are made of dangerous chemicals.
Look For Batteries:
If a toy is battery-operated, make sure thin wires are out of your child's reach. Moreover, make sure batteries housing is tightly closed so kids can’t open it and put batteries or cells in mouth. Putting batteries in mouth can have toxic health effects due to chemicals.
Pick Well-Made Toys:
Make sure toys are durable, washable, reliable, have friendly materials, and are of superb quality. Always go for non-toxic toys.
Toddlers and infants throw their toys many times a day. Toys should be made of suitable plastic because if plastic breaks, its small sharp edges can injure your baby.
Infants and toddlers usually want to explore almost everything. Whether there is food, toys, or other things around them, they love to check and analyze them.
Moreover, this is the way they can learn and engage themselves. But it is always a parent's responsibility to keep an eye on their infants and toddlers when they are playing around them.
Always buy safe toys for your babies. Make sure toys have no toxins or chemicals. Because chances are high that they may put them in their mouths, leading to more significant risks. Make sure the items you provide your children are safe and of high quality. Remember, with kids, you have happiness your way.
In addition to that, always give toys to babies after ensuring their complete safety and guidelines. This way, you can prevent risks rather than dreadful results.