Picking out toys for baby’s playroom can be a lot of fun – it’s like being a kid in a toy store all over again! But now you have to actually look at labels and worry about what the toys are made of and if they can possibly pose a hazard to your child. Even when friends and family members offer hand-me-downs and bring birthday gifts, you know they have the best intentions but you still have to be on parent duty and inspect all the toys to make sure they’re safe. Here are some tips for safe toy shopping and inspection.
Lookout for recalls.
It’s very scary, but several baby toys are recalled each year, often because they have parts that can detach and pose choking hazards. There are different online websites you can check to look up recalls like Parents.com or safekids.org.
Make sure there are no loose or broken parts.
If you are receiving a hand-me-down toy, make sure to inspect it thoroughly to see if there is any part that is coming loose that baby can choke on or sharp edges if the toy has been broken. Older toys may also have chipped paint that can be hazardous.
Although phthalates were banned from children’s toys in 2008, they can still be found in many older plastic toys. Many toys have been found to contain chemicals that may be harmful to baby’s health. Avoid this altogether by buying organic toys so you can feel safe knowing that it’s ok for baby to put the toy in his or her mouth because it is non-toxic.
Avoid toys with cords.
Something parents often overlook is pull-along toys with strings or cords. If the string is longer than 7 inches, it can strangulate your baby. Get rid of it! Even toys with shorter strings can get wrapped tightly around baby’s finger and cut off blood circulation.
Go by age recommendation.
Most kids’ toys have a recommended age on the packaging so you know when is the right time to give it to your child. These are helpful guides to go by, but still listen to your gut and use your judgment with this because you know your baby best.
Always supervise kids when playing.
Parents often trust older kids to lookout for their younger siblings during playtime, but they’re still kids and they need to be supervised. Your older child may not understand that it’s not safe for baby to play with big kid toys because they don’t know that baby can choke on small pieces or get injured another way.
Written by Carrie Shan, Founder of Silkberry Baby
Silkberry Baby is an organic baby clothing brand located in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Developed by Carrie Shan, a mother of two young children, the range was conceived to create a baby bedding and clothing product range as her daughter had an allergic reaction to synthetic fibres. After much research, she sourced natural, eco-friendly and sustainable fibers (mulberry silk floss and bamboo) that she found to be the best natural choices available for baby and toddlers' bedding and clothing.
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