The holiday season is approaching, and that means your kids will get many new toys. As exciting as this is, parents need to be vigilant about what their kids are playing with and how the toys are meant to be used. Parents and guardians must also be aware of common dangers hidden in popular toys. The team at Green Hill Pediatric Associates has put together some examples of the safest toys for your little ones, as well as what to watch out for.
Toy Safety Guide:
Little girls, and some little boys, love dolls. They enjoy caring for them, pretending to be adults protecting their babies, and even dressing them up. However, not all dolls are created equal. Watch out for small parts, such as shoes or removable accessories. Don’t give a young child any miniature plastic figurines; they pose a choking hazard. If your child simply must have a doll with removable accessories, place them in a secure trunk or sealed plastic tub when not in use.
If a doll talks or sings, make sure your child cannot pop off the battery hatch in the back. Never buy a doll or any other toy that uses button batteries. Although your child may be past the stage for putting things in his or her mouth, button batteries are easily stepped on or inadvertently swallowed. Your best bet for young children (2–4 years) are soft cloth or vinyl dolls with larger accessories or none at all.
Cars, Trucks, and Play Sets
Again, your biggest worry here is going to be small, removable parts. Even classic Lego sets can be quite dangerous if their pieces are tripped over, swallowed, or, yes, shoved up a nose. Not to mention, they’ll destroy your vacuum cleaner if sucked up. Start younger kids out with larger blocks or toy sets that are less likely to cause injury. Encourage kids to play with play sets, cars, and trucks outdoors or on sturdy surfaces like tables; this way, pieces are less likely to get lost.
What could be more innocent than a stuffed bunny? Potentially nothing, but do be aware of some common pitfalls. The big issue here is allergies, so make sure your child won’t react to any material in the toy. Some stuffed toys come with accessories like toy leashes; so make sure your child is ready for these. They can easily be looped around the neck and choked on or catch on something and cause accidents. We recommend stuffed animals after age 1 year old.
The holidays are a magical time to be a kid. Following toy safety guidelines can ensure your child has the best experience possible this season.