As the New Year holidays approach, you’re probably already thinking about buying toys that will bring joy to your children and your loved ones. You can find thousands of toys on the market, children love them, and they are unforgettable when they grow up. On the other hand, there are many injuries caused by toys, so be careful when buying them.
Toys should be bought according to the child’s age; these age codes are related to the child’s maturity, intelligence, and safety from injuries that the child could inflict on himself by playing with them. Choose toys according to your child’s age, abilities, and skills. Do not buy toys for children under three years of age that have small detachable parts.
Remove all packaging. Read all warnings and instructions carefully.
Follow the instructions carefully to assemble and use the toy correctly.
Keep an eye on your child during play. Check toys periodically. In case of a malfunction, be sure to inform the manufacturer or the shop where the toy was purchased. If you shop online, make sure you use a trusted online shop.
When choosing a toy
Always buy toys from trusted shops and websites as they sell verified toys and usually accept returns. On the other hand, dishonest traders often neglect the need to protect health and safety, and some even sell counterfeit toys. Carefully check the toys you buy online, the toys you give to your children, and second-hand toys.
It is not enough to check whether a toy is safe only when you buy it, but you should do this periodically and after the child has been playing with it for a while. For example, check whether the tightly fitting eyes of the teddy have become looser, whether the toy has broken during play and has sharp edges, etc. Children should be checked as toys can become dangerous to play with because children may have played with them in a way not intended by the manufacturer.
Read all warnings and instructions
Pay attention to age and safe use recommendations; take them seriously. Do not buy toys if they do not have the ISO mark on them or on the packaging. Although the ISO mark is not intended as a guide for the consumer, it is an assurance to the toy manufacturer that the toy complies with all the international toy safety rules, which are among the strictest in the world.
Choose toys that are suitable for your child’s age, abilities, and skill level.
Toys that are not designed for children of a particular age group may cause injury to the child. Follow the age recommendations, particularly the symbol “not suitable for children under 3 years” and the warnings accompanying the emblem. Do not buy toys with small detachable parts for children under 3 years of age, as children often put these toys in their mouths, and there is a risk of choking.
After buying a toy
Follow the instructions for assembling the toys and using them correctly. Keep the instructions and information with the toys and watch the children when they are playing. Children should use toys appropriately, and toys should be adapted to their age and abilities. Children should always wear a helmet and other protective equipment when using certain toys such as scooters, roller skates, and bicycles.
Check toys periodically for damage or wear and tear to prevent possible injury and to prevent any potential health and safety risks to the child. If toys are damaged, remove them immediately.
Remove all packaging and always keep the instructions. Make sure that children do not play with plastic packaging as there is a risk of suffocation.
Teach children to put toys away to prevent accidents. Consistently report a toy safety problem to the manufacturer or retailer from whom you bought the toy. If you have any questions about the safety of toys, always contact the manufacturer, retailer, or competent authority.
Avoid Chinese toys
Chinese toys are popular because of their affordable prices, but you may also remember the scandals associated with them. China has become the center of the global toy industry. Last year, it exported $7.5 billion worth of toys to the world, but it has been shown that many of them are unsafe because of the high amount of lead in the paint. Li Changjiang, chairman of China’s Product Safety Agency, promised that the problem with the use of unsafe lead paint would be solved by the New Year holidays.
Buy didactic toys
In addition to fun, didactic toys also have an impact on the development of attention, which is extremely important for learning by understanding. Attention cannot be developed by force, so such toys are an excellent way for children to practice willingly and voluntarily. Didactic toys have an impact on the development of speech and attention, thinking, correct reasoning, and observation skills. These toys can be used to compare the characteristics of different objects and phenomena, classify objects according to various criteria, analyze and synthesize, and draw conclusions.
Such toys are usually made of high-quality materials, and a great deal of effort has gone into their design. Their aim is to influence intellectual development and the dissemination of knowledge. Children learn through play independently, and naturally, that does not cause fear of failure.
When didactic toys are mentioned, many people immediately think of toys made of wood. Wood is one of the oldest toy-making materials. It is warm and natural, develops children’s many senses, and is very good for their health.
Parents have recognized the quality of wood. In a survey conducted in 2018, when asked whether they think wood is a good material for making toys, the answers were overwhelmingly positive. Parents consider wood to be a longer-lasting, higher quality, safer, healthier, and more environmentally friendly material than plastic.
Remember, kids are not demanding. From toddlers, through first steps, right up to school, they love to improvise and will know how to have fun with any toy. It’s just a matter of recognizing what stage they’re at, their current capabilities, and what they’re most interested in. And as a parent, if you follow toy safety tips in this article, I am sure your kids will be safe when playing.