Children aged 3 and under have a habit of putting any and everything in their little mouths (as sometime noses), so toys such as stuffed bears with button eyes and and noses, balloons and toys with small parts should be kept away from them. Those little fingers are adept and persistent at picking and prying at objects. If you feel like the toy is o.k. "as long as you watch the child", then it is not safe.
Shopping for toys can be fun and exciting. It can also be exhausting and extremely frustrating, however if you are not careful it can be harmful too. Here are a few things to take into consideration.
- Make sure the toys are appropriate to suit the childs age, interests, abilities and skills.
- Remember that toys which are meant for older children can be dangerous for younger children.
- Avoid toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic that might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.
- Children continue to be fascinated by guns. It is probably best if you do not buy toy guns; however, if you do, make sure that it is obviously a toy gun. It should be brightly colored and plastic.
- If you are giving a bicycle to a child, give a helmet also. Let the child know that the helmet is to be worn whenever he or she uses the bike.
- Know what's on the video games you are buying for your child. Check for violence and sexual content. The video should be labeled for the age appropriateness.
Every year a group called "W.A.T.C.H" (World Against Toys Causing Harm) releases a list of toys that may be dangerous for children. This list gives details about the products on their list, including the manufacturer, the potential and immediate danger and hazards of the product. See which toy made W.A.T.C.H.'s annual "10 Worst Toys" list this year. After reading the list to see if you have purchased an item on the list or are planning to, be sure to go to the section titled "Report Card" for more information. This list will help you to make an informed decision when purchasing toys for children.