This post is sponsored by Baptist Health. All views and opinions expressed are those of the author.
When shopping for toys, it is hard to imagine that anything I am buying for my children could be potentially dangerous. I usually read the labels and make sure every single object that makes it to our toy bin is appropriate for their age. However, I had never really given much thought to the concept of toy safety until I came across Baptist Health’s report on toy risks, recalls, and recommendations for parents.
From high concentrations of unsafe chemicals to potential choking hazards, misleading labels and risks associated with certain riding toys, our friends at Baptist Health are helping us as parents understand that we can’t assume that toys are safe just because they are considered toys. It is crucial to learn that some toys do not meet existing safety standards and unfortunately these become unsafe and a child can be hurt.
As moms, we need to be extra careful with what we bring home. Let’s take into account the following toy safety tips from Baptist Health in order to make informed decisions when shopping for toys for our little ones, and to prevent accidents. Help us spread the word by sharing this post with every single mom and dad we know! Our children’s safety is crucial!
Check the label
Follow age guidance and other safety information on packaging, as age grading is based on safety concerns and on the toy’s developmental appropriateness for children. Baptist Health recommends parents to choose toys that match a child’s age, interests and abilities, as well as the family’s play environment.
Avoid toys with small parts, marbles and small balls
So many toys fit into the category! And this applies to all children under age three. If like me, you have more than one child, this is a very important recommendation to keep in mind. Why? Because inevitably, your children will mix pieces from many different toy sets and it will be hard for you to control what your baby and/or toddler grabs. In a just a second or two, that tiny part can go straight into their mouth and it can be very dangerous.
Be careful with stuffed toys
Make sure your stuffed animals, dolls, and the like have age-appropriate features such as embroidered or secured eyes and noses for younger children and seams that are reinforced to withstand an older child’s play.
Be careful with magnets
Did you know that high-powered magnet sets are a safety risk to children – toddler through teen? Baptist Health states that children have swallowed loose magnets, causing serious intestinal injuries. Let’s avoid these types of toys or keep a close eye on our children at all times when playing with them.
Get safety gear along with riding toys
With scooters and other riding toys, be sure to provide a helmet for your child. Reports from last year revealed that riding toys, specifically non-motorized scooters and tricycles, were the toy category associated with the most injuries. Our 3-year old is expecting his first scooter this Christmas. Honestly, it didn’t occur to me that such a young child would need a helmet for what seems to be a safe, small riding toy. I am grateful I came across such an important piece of information. As a result, I am getting him a sized to fit helmet just in time for him to wear it on Christmas morning!
Know your seller
Purchase toys from retailers you know and trust.
Do your research
Information on toy risks and recalls is public and thanks to Baptist Health South Florida, we are putting all available resources in one place for you to review and make better informed toy purchase decisions:
- Toy Association’s 2018 list of toy recalls. The list includes the exact name, brand, description of toys for babies and children with choking, fire and burn or laceration hazards.
- Trouble in Toyland 33rd annual survey. Published in November 2018, this survey, by the U.S. PIRG Education Fund, found that 15 of 40 toys reviewed this year, had safety issues.
- Toy Safety 2018: Latest on Recalls, Tips for Parents. This is Baptist Health’s article with more information on toy-related reported accidents and injuries across the country. You can find a Spanish language version here. This Miami Moms Blog post was an adaptation from this piece, originally written by John Fernandez and published by Baptist Health South Florida on December 10th.
Read more about how Baptist Health is making doctor’s visits more convenient for Moms.