Baby Toy Safety: Why Is It Important For Toys To Be Safe?
Toys are mostly meant to be fun and beneficial to any child’s development needs. That is why there are millions of them out there, with newer ones hitting the stores on a daily basis. Just as it is important to choose a toy that brightens your child’s face, safety has to be considered too. But why is it important for toys to be safe? Have you ever asked yourself this question before?
Statistics from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that approximately 150,000 injuries from toys are treated in the emergency rooms yearly. Of these, falls form the most reported injuries, while there are also those from swallowing, cuts, placing small objects in noses or ears, etc.
These toy-related injuries and accidents, therefore, underscore the need for the toys to be safer. In this way, playtime can be more about fun and not a trip to the emergency room. In this article, I will highlight the reasons why it is important for toys to be safe, and the safety tips to make this a possibility.
Importance Of Toy Safety
Popular belief always has it that since a toy is on the shelves, then it is automatically safe for your kid. As a parent, do not always make this assumption. This is because some of these toys pose safety risks to the baby as well as being a hazard.Here are some of the risks involved that makes it all important to prioritize toy safety when making a purchase.
1. Some Toys Are A Choking Hazard
By now, I am sure you have noticed that your baby puts a lot of the toys in his mouth when playing. If yours does not, then we should probably do a swap (just kidding). This hazard is most common for children below the age of three years.
The small parts on toys are what pose most of the choking hazards as they can be easily swallowed. In fact, some of these toys with small parts are actually banned in certain regions as they are not safe.
Small eyes on stuffed animals, squeakers on toys and uninflated balloons are some of the leading causes of choking and even strangulations in children below three years old. For safety, have a small parts tester (a tube for inserting small parts).
Use this to determine toy sizes. If the part enters in its entirety in the tube, then it’s a risk. Otherwise, it’s not.
2. Strangulation Risks
When buying toys, you are advised to avoid toys with chords, ribbons and strings of considerable length. These types expose your baby to strangulation risks in case the baby gets entangled in the extra length of the chord.
Additionally, once your baby has learned to raise his hands, then mobiles and gyms should be moved away from the crib. As she pulls on stuff from the mobile, she may get entangled in the dangling toys and dolls.
3. Injury From Projectiles
Here is another reason why toys ought to be safe when used by kids. Projectiles such as arrows, missiles, darts or any other should not be sharp-pointed. The injury risks of such would be too much.
To ensure the little ones are safer during play, do not allow them to play with sporting equipment meant for adults. These play objects can easily turn to weapons causing injury within a blink of an eye.
For safety, the projectiles should have rubber suction cups, tips made of soft cork and any other protective mechanism. These safety measures eliminate all the injury risks your little champ might be exposed to.
4. Ear Damage
Your baby’s ears are very important body organs that should be well taken care of. It is your parental duty to keep your baby’s ears free of any complications. These complications may include anything harmful to the ear that could bring infections and make the ears smell or even interfere with the hearing ability.
It is a known fact that babies love music. The smooth, soft and soothing kinds of tunes have a calming effect on babies. However, there are toys such as noisemaking guns which are unacceptable near babies if you intend on keeping your kid’s hearing intact.
Keep them more than a foot away from the babies if you cannot avoid using them. Alternatively, you could use these guns outdoors.
5. Toys Could Be Poisonous
As I had earlier mentioned, our babies can shove toys straight to their mouths when playtime gets too exciting or boring (depends on how you view it). When such a toy is painted using lead-based paints, then you expose him to lead poisoning.
Fake jewelry and toys coated with these paints are a health risk for babies, infants, toddlers and preschoolers when absorbed into the body. The ingestion can be through chewing, licking or placing the toys with the paint in their mouths.
Check toy labels to confirm that the paint used is lead-free. If you suspect the presence of these heavy metals, you can take the toy for testing in a laboratory if it is worth all the effort. For the cases where you suspect your baby has already ingested the lead, take her to a pediatrician immediately.
6. Some Toys Are Flammable
Soft toys are always a hit with babies and infants. They are cuddly, form great pillows, are great “friends” and provide great company for kids. However, they pose another safety risk since some of them are very flammable.
Before you settle on any of these teddy bears and stuffed elephant toys, check for a fire-retardant specification on the toy. Otherwise, your child could be playing with a fire accelerant or kindling fire. Keep your child safe by preventing him from lighting up.
7. Risk Of Gastrointestinal Damage
Among the items in the forefront of the toy hazards are magnets. These items can be found in many of the toys, such as magnetix building sets on shelves in stores.
It is these magnets that pose serious health issues when swallowed. As kids play, they subject the toys to all manner of torture. They are knocked on the floor, dragged along, left in the scorching sun and just about any condition.
The magnets might fall in the process and may be consumed by the kid. These tiny magnets might affect the digestive system if more than one is swallowed. When that happens, infections, gastrointestinal damages, and fatal injuries may result.There are several cases of injuries and fatal accidents involving magnets and kids that have been documented over the past couple of years. Here is a couple of them.
8. Cuts From Sharp Edges
If you have a child below eight years, the toys they play with should not have sharp edges as they pose serious safety concerns. It could be glass or metallic toys with sharp edges.
Toys that are made of breakable glass should also be avoided as they might introduce cuts if they break when the baby is playing with them.
9. To Prevent Burns From Electrical Toys
Electrical toys are another set of toys that necessitate an emphasis on toys safety. This is especially true for those that have heating elements. Such toys should meet safety requirements for proper labeling, insulation, surface temperature insulation and warning labels.These toys made with heating elements are mostly suited for children above the age of eight who are well adept at handling such situations. Do not let the child play with the toy while it is plugged in.
Why is it important for toys to be safe? There are over 1000 reasons why your baby’s toys should be safe. This comprehensive article has discussed just a few of the reasons why toys should be safe. Safety of toys is one of the most important aspects that you should give considerations to when buying any toy.
Age appropriateness should be considered too along with a careful examination of the usage and care instructions. For younger babies, eliminate fluffy and stuffed animals from their cribs as they go to sleep. This step reduces the probability of your baby suffering the consequences of SIDS.