Today, most parents are knowledgeable about how to research toys and manufacturers, to be sure they're protecting the health and well-being of their child when they purchase a toy or game. However, there are many news stories of children being hurt or killed while playing with a toy, which is why it becomes important to ensure that your child's toys are safe.
While selecting toys, the first and main consideration is that they should be age-appropriate and specifically designed for children that are mature enough, both physically and developmentally, to play with them. Young children should not play with toys that have small parts which can be possible choking hazards. Even if there are no removable parts, ensure that there are no parts that seem permanently-attached, but which your child can remove, such as plastic eyes or buttons on stuffed animals, tiny wheels on small cars, or knobs on miniature buildings and models, as these can be hazardous.
Check to be sure that soft fabric toys are washable in case of spills or being dragged through dirt on the playground. Due to the possibility of hidden chemicals and other toxins, be sure that the finish, coating, or paint on wooden or metal toys is non-toxic. Check that the edges are not jagged or rusty. See that there are no strings, ribbons, or cords on the toys that are longer than 6 inches, and that any attached cords cannot be pulled off and become an unsafe risk. Also ensure that noise-making toys such as music, construction noises, or sirens are not so loud that they may damage a very young child's hearing if held close to the face.
After you have determined that your child's toys are safe, the next step is to be sure that you store them safely. Kids are notorious for scattering toys throughout the house. However, if possible, the toys should be kept off the floor and out of the way so that they are not stepped on or tripped over. Toys designed for older children should be kept out of reach or stored on a shelf if you have a curious toddler in the house. They should not be stored in their original packaging unless they are designed that way; staples and rivets can easily cause cuts and scratches, and plastic wrappings can result in choking or suffocation.
Select a toy chest carefully. The safest ones do not have lids, so as to prevent kids from getting stuck inside them or slamming their fingers when reaching for a toy. If it does have a lid, make sure that the lid is sturdy, with safe hinges and supports that lock in place. Select ones that have finished, smooth edges without protrusions or jagged seams, and be sure that the chest has ventilation holes in the sides to prevent suffocation, should a child be trapped inside accidentally.
Keeping toys safe and useful is pretty straightforward and not very difficult. Spare a few minutes every week to examine your child's toys to be sure there are no damaged or broken parts that might be dangerous, such as wooden toys with splinters or mechanical toys with lose parts or exposed wires. Repair or replace all the broken parts that may be a potential danger; if that is not possible, discard the toy. Never leave any metal toys outdoors overnight, even in good weather. Dew or humidity can cause rusting even if it isn't raining or snowing. If a child is cut by rusty metal, they will need to get a tetanus shot or else they will be at risk of contracting tetanus, which is a bacterial disease that affects the nervous system.
Kids love toys, and parents love getting them and watching their children enjoy them. By taking a few easy precautions and following a few logical guidelines, you can ensure that your child is not only happy, but also safe.