Parenting

How to choose safe toys for your child

Anurima
1 to 3 years

Created by Anurima
Updated on Jun 02, 2017

How to choose safe toys for your child

Toys are an integral part of one’s childhood. You cannot separate a child from a toy. Today we are spoilt for choice when it comes to toys- they range from famous cartoon characters, to talking dolls, to mini electronic gadgets! There are thousands of toys being launched into the stores every day.
We recently celebrated my daughter’s 5th birthday. As gifts she was given some toys which were clearly for older children. Sometimes attractive packaging can take our attention away from the age group the toy is meant for. Toys are meant to make playtime fun for a child, but if those toys are not checked then it could be dangerous. Each year, plenty of kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Choking is a particular risk for children aged 3 or under, as they tend to explore the world by putting objects in their mouths.
So how do you ensure that your child plays with toys which are safe?
Below are a few guidelines:

  1. Ensure that your child plays with age appropriate toys.
  2. Avoid toys which make loud noises as this may affect your child’s hearing. Toy noise should be no louder than 90 decibels (as loud as a mixer) or 70 decibels if held near the ear.
  3. Electric toys should run on batteries and not chords. Chords pose a risk of strangulation.
  4. After opening a new toy, ensure to discard the box along with the packaging materials such as plastics, pins, staples, tapes, bolts, shrink wraps etc.
  5.  Check toys frequently for wear and tear. Repair or discard chipped, broken toys, ripped seams in stuffed toys. And check for rust on outdoor toys.
  6.  For toddlers and babies, watch out for toys with eyes as buttons, wheels of small cars and other small party which may be easily pulled out. Remove any small round part or marbles, coins, balls which measures less than 1.75 diameters or 4.4 centimetres.
  7. Discard popped balloons immediately. A popped balloon in the mouth may cause the child to suffocate.
  8. Battery operated toys should have screwed on casings to avoid children from removing the batteries. Ingesting batteries, battery fluid can cause choking, chemical burns and internal bleeding.
  9. Bicycles, skates and scooters should always be used with a helmet.
  10. Avoid toys with strings or attachments longer than 12 inches as they pose a risk of strangulation.
  11. Older toys handed over by family or friends should be checked thoroughly for wear and tear and discarded it chipped or broken.
  12. Ensure to keep older sibling’s toys out of reach from a younger one to prevent accidents such as choking. A building block set meant for a 6 year old will be of a smaller size as compared to those meant for a 2 year old and may look really tempting
  13. Regularly clean toys. Some plastic toys can be easily cleaned with regular soap and warm water.

Are there any potential dangers lurking in your child’s toys?

1. Lead: Lead can easily hide in small parts and in unsuspecting toys. Lead poisoning may cause kidney damage, mental and physical delays to name a few. A study done in 2009 has revealed that lowest lead content in Indian toys was 0.108 microgram much higher than the safe limit of 60-90 parts per million and the highest concentration of the toxic metal were in a Chinese robot, a shocking 0.604 microgram per gram. The WHO has banned lead in toys.

2. Cheap plastic toys: Cheap Chinese toys are renowned the world over for their toxicity. The Pollution Control Board in India has revealed that Chinese toys are four to five times more toxic than those manufactured in India.
3. PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride): PVC is found in cheap plastic toys and contains carcinogens such as vinyl chloride, dioxin and phthalates which can cause asthma allergies and immune system abnormalities. These toys contain cheap colour which may leach causing harmful effects to a child.
4. BPA (Bisphenol A): BPA is commonly found in many plastic toys, bottles and sippy cups. Exposure to BPA results in attention disorder, cancel cell growth, early onset of puberty and obesity.
It is important to read the toy manufacturer’s instructions, age restrictions, care and composition of the toys. If the toy contains any of the above toxic substances, then it should be discarded immediately.
Taking care of a few steps as suggested in this blog will help make playtime a safe, fun and a relaxing activity for your child and for you.

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| Jun 02, 2017

Thanx for the wonderful guidance related to toys. Its really tough while selecting toys for babies. Its a great help.

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| Jun 02, 2017

l

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| Jun 02, 2017

thnkew , for this important information.

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| May 03, 2014

V. informative indeed Anurima. Thanks.. Keep Posting :)

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| May 03, 2014

Hi Anurima, Thanks for sharing this.. was really very insightful.

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| May 02, 2014

this is definitely going to help us all!

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| May 02, 2014

good pointers

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| May 02, 2014

this is nice!

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| May 02, 2014

very well written :)

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| May 02, 2014

very interesting

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| May 02, 2014

i too garee with Ankita here

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| May 02, 2014

interesting read!

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| May 02, 2014

This was very helpful :)

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| May 02, 2014

Good article!

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| May 02, 2014

Hi Anurima, thanks for the valuable information. We never spare a thought on this and get carried away by just attractive packaging and colours. This blog is going to help many parents, I am sure.

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