When shopping for toys with your child, it can be tempting to let him have whatever toy he lays eyes on without really examining the toy for safety. But toys undergo strict methods of toy testing for a reason, so that children can play with safe toys that are appropriate for their age level.
It’s important to keep specific guidelines about toys in mind when shopping for infants, toddlers and preschoolers. Just because a toy has undergone toy testing does not mean it’s a good choice for your child.
Toys for Infants, Toddlers and Preschoolers
Toys for infants, toddlers and preschoolers should be sturdy and able to withstand a lot of wear and tear without small pieces breaking off. Rattles and teething toys should be large enough to prevent them from being stuck in a child’s mouth or throat.
You should stay away from any toys with cords and long strings. Children could easily become entangled or choke with these types of toys. Avoid toys that are thin and made of plastic, as these can easily shatter and form sharp points that can cut children.
Babies and toddlers are likely to put small objects into their mouths, meaning you should keep coins, small balls and marbles away from children. Any round object that is less than two inches in diameter should not be given to your child.
You can purchase a choke tube to test your toys for choking hazard. The tube is designed to be about the same width as a small child’s windpipe. If a toy or small part of a toy can fit into the tube, you should not let your child play with it.
Toys for Older Children
Older children in elementary school also have important safety needs. Children should wear helmets and appropriate padding and safety gear when riding bicycles, skateboards, scooters and skates. The helmets and gear should be certified by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) or Snell; look for the certifications on the labels. Testing and certifications are important for everything you use in your home, from medical product testing to toy testing.
Toy darts and arrows should have suction cups at the end or foam tips. Children should never be allowed to play with real dart sets or real arrows. In addition, toy guns should look like toy guns and be painted in bright colors. Teach your children to play properly with toy guns, darts and arrows by letting them know these objects should never be aimed at their friends.
Children under the age of 16 should not be allowed to play with BB guns or pellet guns. Any electronic toys should clearly be labeled “UL,” meaning the toys have met the safety regulations of Underwriters Laboratories.
Now that you’ve gotten more information about toy testing, your next step should probably be learning more about FCC approval. Guest Post provided by blogger Michelle Anderson. This article was written by a guest author. Would you like to write for us?