Parenting Tip Toddler | Is that Toy Safe for the Child

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Parenting Tip Toddler | Is that Toy Safe for the Child

Children always look for toys, particularly on special occasions like birthdays and Christmas. Toys rarely last long. The latest fads this year become obsolescent the following year. Companies are constantly coming up with new toys or new features for old toys like fashion clothes and new accessories for Barbie and Ken and more functions and features for GI Joe war equipment.

A key factor in the development of toys is the child’s safety. It must be a toy that will be desired by the child and at the same time, safe enough that the parent will buy the toy for the child. Companies exert much effort to ensure that their toys are safe. Despite these efforts and rigid government regulations, injuries may still occur. Why is this so? It may be our own fault.

Companies put labels on the toys defining the type of toy and guidelines on the age recommendation for the toy. If you see a toy labeled for children ages 5 and above, it wouldn’t make sense buying it for a 3-year old child. Not only would the child have difficulty understanding or playing the toy, but it may cause some injury to the child.

When looking at the age recommendation of the toy, think of your child’s capability to play with the toy. The age factor should take into consideration the physical, mental and physiological ages. A child may be 5 years old physically but much younger mentally. It also reflects the interests a child may have at different age levels.

Aside from the age specifications, there may be cautionary labels, such as found on electrical toys and other toys that require assembly. The toys are not intended for purposes other than what the companies intended for the toy. Labels will state it. Instructions are provided on the proper way to assemble the toy.

Parents should oversee the assembly since there may be small parts which might be ingested by the child. Sharp objects may be suddenly grabbed and poked at other siblings. Parents should guide their children through the process since assembling a toy can in itself, be a learning experience for the child.

Toys have their own specific purpose. Misusing the toy, such as throwing or pulling it apart, may result in a damaged toy with exposed sharp edges. Broken toys should be removed from the child and thrown away. Teach the child to take care of their toys. Discipline them by showing that if they break their toy, they cannot play with it any longer.

Toys that shoot balls, arrows, pellets or other flying objects should be monitored closely. Children enjoy shooting at things or people. Teach them the proper way of playing with those toys and chastise them when they don’t obey you. Explain to them that they should not shoot at people or animals as they could get hurt. Eye injuries often result from toys that shoot plastic objects or other flying pieces.

Noisy toys can also be harmful. Continuous noise at close range can damage a child’s hearing. Electrical toys or toys that require plugging into an electrical outlet should be under the close supervision of an adult. Toys that use chemicals, such as chemistry sets or crime investigation, should be allowed only in the presence of an adult.

Mishandling of the chemicals could result in toxic fumes. Toys are intended for fun and educational purposes but it can become hazardous if used wrongly. Watch over your child.

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