Toy safety; Identifying Hazards and Keeping Kids Safe
by: Kristen Banzhaf
Toy safety is a top priority for parents, caregivers and our company. In this article we will discuss toy safety, identifying potential hazards in toys and provide tips for selecting the right toys for your child. Toys are an important part of play time and development. Knowing which toys are safe for your child will keep them healthy and happy.
Below is information to help parents and caregivers choose appropriate and safe toys.
Check each label for the age recommendation of the toy. Much of the risk associated with children’s toys is age-dependent. Toys with accurate and appropriate age recommendations should always be selected. Small children have a tendency to put things in their mouth. Toys that contain small parts are a serious chocking hazard and should not be selected. Do not select toys meant for older children thinking that it will help your child to be more advanced. Not only can this lead to hazards such as choking, but it also can frustrate your child and foster negativity.
Always supervise playtime. This is especially critical for small children and children who have older siblings. Make sure that younger children are playing with the toys intended for them and not the toys of an older sibling which could be hazardous for them.
Selecting the right toy can seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Here are some tips for getting the right toy. Look at labels. You can learn a lot about the contents of a toy by reading the label. Choose non-toxic. All of our wooden toys are non-toxic, lead free and made with natural finishes. Look for toys that have the same qualities. Recently toy recalls have been made by the CPSC due to high lead content. Luckily none of our wood toys were part of this recall due to frequent and diligent testing. Although toy manufacturers have reacted responsibly to eliminating this threat, here are some ways to determine potential lead content. Lead can be found in plastics, vinyl, metals, and certain paints finishes. Read the labels on these items to check for any unhealthy chemicals and lead. If the label contains phthalates it should be avoided. Phthalates are harmful chemicals emitted from some plastics. Be sure to exclude these toys from your purchasing. Become familiar with who you purchase from and choose companies that share your beliefs on safe toys.
Look for reputable toy manufacturers that you can trust. Our manufactures comply with government safety regulations and undergo rigorous testing to ensure toy safety. Our wooden toys have been the recipients of the most prestigious toy awards and our manufacturers share our vigilance for safety. Manufacturers such as: Melissa and Doug, Plan Toys, Hape, and Imagiplay.
Avoid cheap toys that are not constructed well and easily breakable. It goes without saying that these kinds of products can lead to hazards such as chocking and injury, but cheap metals are also very likely to contain lead.
Use as Intended
Teach children to use their toys in the way they were intended. Being overly aggressive and misusing a toy can lead to hazards and breakage.
Use toys that are electric, or become hot only with adult supervision to avoid burns and electric shock. Age appropriate recommendations should especially be adhered to for these kinds of products.
Inspecting your children’s toys regularly is a great way to keep them safe. When examining each toy look for loose, or broken parts. Discard toys with sharp edges, chipping paint or other possible dangers. Consider replacing toys that cannot be fixed with new, safer products.
Toys that are well loved should be cleaned often. Here are some ways to ensure germ-free toys
1. Wash toys in hot, soapy water, rinse and dry
2. Colorfast toys can be soaked in a bleach solution of ¾ cup of household bleach in 1 gallon of water.
3. Lysol, or other disinfectant sprays can be used for daily maintenance.
Keeping an uncluttered play area is another great way to eliminate hazards and injury. Put some toys away and then rotate them in a few months. Not only will your play room be clean, but your child will think its Christmas all over again.
Selecting safe toys and identifying potential hazards is a great way to keep our kids safe. It is also important to not be afraid to let kids play. Don’t stop your child from playing with toys. Keep the above recommendations in the forefront of your mind and you will select toys that are safe and fun. According to Dr. Toy “Children need toys to learn, play, and develop mentally, socially and physically. Toys are a means for developing a child’s “PQ” or “Play Quotient,” which is intelligent and responsible play that engages, educates, creates and is overall fun.” Stevanne Auerbach, Ph.D. 2007 Aug 17(Timely Toy Safety Tips from Dr. Toy-How to Protect your Child from Harm.)
If you are every concerned about a toy, or would like more information you can contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Author: Kristen Banzhaf, BS Interior Design, owner of www.woodtoypalace.com, dedicated mother, advocate for healthy play and imaginative learning. For a huge selection of natural, safe wooden toys from such trusted brands as Melissa and Doug visit our website at http://www.woodtoypalace.com
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