A child develops and learns about the world by playing, but there are certain children’s toys that bring more harm than good.
Bright Side would like to tell you about 8 products that you should give to your kids with care, as well as share some advice on which toy would be safer for your baby.
8. Toys with propellers
Helicopters and other toys with propellers are meant for teenagers. Young children can’t handle such things properly yet and may easily get a finger in the working blades.
Advice: Choose toys with propellers made of soft plastic. Blade edges should be smooth without any notches.
7. Toy doctor’s kit
A child will definitely want to use the tools from the kit on themselves or other kids, and a “medical procedure” may end with small parts getting stuck in the nose or breathing passages. Besides, such games arouse a child’s interest in real syringes, scissors, and pills.
Advice: Best use kits that don’t have any small parts, syringes, or tools made to look in the nose or mouth.
6. Rubber rings and water wings
Water rings and wings don’t guarantee complete safety in the water as a child may easily slip off or turn over. In addition, some products of this kind contain toxic isophorone, phenol, and hexanone that may cause long-lasting skin irritations and other problems, the first two being carcinogenic.
Advice: The size of the ring and wings should be strictly adjusted to the size of the child, used under adult supervision, and not be worn for more than half an hour.
5. Toys with batteries
Flat round batteries resemble candies, and your child will want to taste them. Their size and shape allow for easy swallowing, and the lithium inside them can cause severe poisoning and burns.
Advice: Batteries should be strongly protected with plastic panels fixed with screws.
4. Toy guns
Children often neglect the distance from which shooting should be done and other safety measures for toy guns. As a result, toys that shoot with any type of ammo, even water or aerosol, become a cause of facial injuries, especially to the eyes.
Advice: Buy toys that come with protective glasses, or purchase such glasses separately.
3. Magnetic kits
This popular magnetic toy can often be seen labeled as “3+,” but, in fact, it’s meant for teenagers older than 14. In an attempt to detach the magnetic balls with their teeth, children often swallow not even one but several of them at once. When inside, these strong magnets attach to each other and flatten the intestinal walls.
Advice: Toys where magnets are secured by strong plastic covers are safer.
2. Air balloons
A balloon may well pop during inflation or games, scaring the child or even rendering them deaf. In their fright, a baby can inadvertently inhale the fragments of a popped balloon and choke on them. That’s why any events involving them are recommended for kids over 8 years of age.
Advice: Don’t buy balloons that were originally crinkled and/or have a strong smell. If you clench your fist over a poor-quality balloon, it will issue a papery sound and take time to return to its initial shape.
1. Fidget spinner
A part of the spinner may detach during spinning and cause injuries. There also are cases when children swallowed parts of it. Besides, such a toy prevents the child from concentrating, which leads to study issues. In several states of the US, using spinners in school is prohibited by law.
Advice: Replace the spinner with a children’s finger training device that will not only let your kid have something to do but also develop their fine motor skills.
How to choose a safe toy
Refer to reputable organizations with this question. For instance, World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.) has its annual list of 10 top dangerous toys. Also, there are many useful recommendations in the Child Product Safety Guide by the European Child Safety Alliance (ECSA).
Adhere to the following rules when buying a toy:
Size. Any toy should be no less than 2.5″ (6 cm) long and 1.5“ (3 cm) wide. If the toy is round, it should be no less than 2” (5 cm) in diameter.
Color. Avoid brightly colored toys. Bright yellow ones are especially not recommended because of the high chance of lead in their contents.
Shape and material. The toy should have no sharp edges or large holes or gaps where a child’s finger may get stuck. Try to pick toys made of textile or wood that’s not painted nor lacquered.