Everyone who buys toys should remember that playthings are
safe only when they are chosen according to a child's age,
interest and skill level. Pay close attention to age
recommendations, such as, "Not recommended for children
under three". Be aware of other safety labels including
"Flame retardant/flame resistant" on fabric
products and "Washable/Hygienic materials" on
stuffed dolls and toys.
Make sure that all instructions are clear to
you and, when appropriate, the child. Discard the plastic
wrappings from the toys immediately before they become deadly
playthings. Below are suggestions for safeguarding your
children's play as they grow.
One-year-old children discover the joys of
sight, touch, sound and taste through their play. Choose
colorful, lightweight toys made of smooth, non-toxic
materials. Avoid toys that might break.
Don't give your child any toys that have
small parts such as removable eyes, noses, or noisemakers.
Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges
made of metal or glass - such toys should not be given to
children under eight years of age. Remember, this includes
stuffed animals with wires inside that could stab or cut if
Toys with long strings, cords, loops or
ribbons should not be hung in cribs or playpens. A young
child could become dangerously entangled.
Two-year-old children want to know how
everything works. Give them very simple toys meant to be
taken apart. Avoid toys with parts small enough to be
swallowed and toys with sharp points or edges. Be careful - a
long string or cord on a pull toy should not exceed 12
inches, because it may become wrapped around a child's neck
and cause choking.
Three-year-old children are explorers who
want large action toys such as rocking horses, cars and
wagons to push and pull around. Parents must still guard
against sharp edges and small, removable parts that can be
swallowed - including marbles, beads and coins.
Four-year-old children are eager to play
grown-up with dolls, trucks, tractors and building blocks.
It's too early for toys that cut or playthings that run by
electricity. Be careful to buy costumes that are flame
retardant and toys that match your child's strength.
Five and Six year old children enjoy creative
play with paints, crayons, blunt scissors and papers. Simple
sports equipment provides challenging fun at this age. Arrows
and darts should have rubber suction cups or soft protective
tips. Check them often to see that the tips are secure. Avoid
vehicles that tip over easily or toys that can pinch or cut.
Seven-year-old children test their physical
coordination with outdoor sports equipment such as sleds,
kites, swings and other playground toys. Inside, playing at a
workbench with sturdy but lightweight tools or a furnished
doll-house will absorb their interest. At this age, your
child can also play with simple, UL-labeled electrical toys.
Avoid skateboards, sharp-edged tools and toys that shoot
Eight to twelve-year-old children are
fascinated with hobbies such as photography, playing musical
instruments and all kinds of collections. A responsible adult
should always be there to supervise games with darts, bows
and arrows, air rifles or chemistry sets. Children at this
age should be taught to work with more sophisticated
electrical toys and tools.
PLAYING IT SAFE AROUND THE HOUSE:
Teach older children to keep toys designed
for them away from younger children. Tool sets or hobby items
are dangerous in the wrong hands. Even simple toys like
uninflated balloons can cause choking if a young child tries
to swallow it.
Teach children to put toys away. Leaving play
things on sidewalks and stairs can cause falls.
Keep toys and play equipment in good repair.
Discard toys that can't be made safe.
TODAY FOR YOUR IN-HOME EVALUATION
The Original Safety for Toddlers.com
Orange County, California
The Original Safety for Toddlers