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26 Jun 2013
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TOY SAFETY: A mom’s perspective

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Children are every parent’s utmost concern. A child’s wellbeing is always at the forefront of every parent’s mind. What is at the forefront of every kid’s mind: PLAY, PLAY and more PLAY? Food and rest is inane as long as they have their various gadgets to preoccupy their very busy lives.


Kids Toys SafetyThus we arrive at the point where the parents’ utmost concern and the child’s main interest meet, the provision of safe toys.


So what constitutes a safe toy? There are numerous standards worldwide which have been put in place in the production of toys. These have been deemed necessary due to the numerous mishaps that have occurred with unsafe toys. Keep in mind, however, that it is not only safe toys but a safe playing ground which is required as well.


There are a number of basic criteria to consider when purchasing a toy for a child:


Toys are labeled for a reason. Warning labels and age restrictions are given to ensure that it is appropriate for the child. The recommended age on a toy will give you an idea of whether your child is ready for this toy or not.


Toy Safety for KidsWatch out for choking hazards. It is important to check if the toy has any small parts which could constitute as choking hazards. In 2010, there was an estimated 200,000 children being treated in the emergency room in U.S alone. A majority of those children were below 4 years. If a toy part can fit through a toilet paper roll, then it is likely that it will fit in your child’s throat. Furthermore, toys that include rubber tubing, elastic, or latex are not safe for children under 6 years as many kids have a fascination of chewing on such toys.


Look for toys that are well put together. When purchasing stuffed toys, make sure that the various parts of the toys are sewed securely and the seams reinforced. They should also be free of buttons, ribbons and any other accessories that your child could yank off and swallow. Many toys are now battery operated. It is important to ensure that such toys have screwed on covers for the battery compartment. It is also important to avoid painted toys as many paints are lead based.


Safe Toys for KidsStrangulation hazards are an important factor to consider as well.For some toys, cords are necessary e.g. baby mobiles. However in this instance the toy should be kept well out of the reach of the child. The danger lies in a cord that is over 12 inches long as this can easily wrap around a child’s neck. Therefore once an infant becomes mobile on his hands and knees please get the crib gyms and hanging toys out from his crib.


Finally it is important to accessorize for safety. For instance if skates, bicycles or skateboards are the chosen gift, keep in mind the unavoidable danger associated with the adrenaline rush coursing through most kids’ veins. Therefore accessorize for safety by providing helmets, knee guards, elbow guard and other relevant protection.


Safe Toys for KidsFor infants, toddlers and young children there are certain recommended manufacturers that easily spring to mind. Fisher Price, VTECH, FunSkool, Mattel, Disney and Hot Wheels are a few known brands that have catered to the parents’ need for well made, safe toys. Here in Colombo such toys can be found at ODEL, Cool Planet, Kids Unlimited, Nastarz, PG Martin and Play House to name a few.


In addition to this there are locally crafted wooden toys which equally hold a promise to delight, occupy and educate your little ones. These can be procured at government stores that promote local handicraft such as Laksala and Lakpahana as well as at ODEL, Barefoot Gallery and Paradise Road.


So the next time you want to put a smile on your little one’s face, think safe, be safe and get the best because they deserve it.

Written by Dilini.R for colomboguide.net ©

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