Toy safety is an issue for infants through age eight and sometimes even older. Knowing how to reduce the chance of a child suffering an injury is the best prevention when you can’t strictly monitor a child’s playtime.
Toy Age Recommendations
Understanding the age recommendations of a toy is one of the best ways to reduce injuries. Children who are three and younger have a higher risk of choking on small parts and objects. Children this young have a tendency to put everything in their mouths.
Therefore, products must include this warning when it’s a potential hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires appropriate warning labels on toys designed for children between the ages of three and six when there is a choking risk to those under age three.
It’s also important to follow the age recommendations on a product. Allowing a child to use a product that isn’t recommended for his or her age poses a serious risk of not only choking, but also other dangers such as strangulation.
Inspecting Your Child's Toys
Another way to keep children safe is by regularly inspecting the toys. Look for loose or broken parts that could be swallowed. For children aged three and younger, a small parts tester will let you know if strangulation is probable for a certain toy.
Check for cords or strings that may strangle a child accidentally. If a toy is broken, either fix it or toss it away.
Toy Storage Tips
Ensure toys are stored safely. If there are children of multiple ages in a home, it will be important to keep younger ones away from toys that could be a hazard.
At the same time, make sure toys aren’t stored in a cabinet, closet or trunk where a child has access. Be sure there are no places where a child could be locked in accidentally after attempting to retrieve an item. Safety latches or simply taking the lid off of a toy chest are resolutions to this problem.