Toys are tools of play for children. Play is important in the physical and mental development of your child. It is important to choose toys wisely and to remember that the most expensive toy is not necessarily the best toy.
When finding toys for your child, here are some of the things that make a good toys:
Ask yourself these questions before you buy toys for your child:
Beware of toys which could break into dangerous pieces or are made of materials which burn easily.
Toys with small parts are dangerous for babies and young children. Toys can cut, choke, poison or strangle if they are not safe, or not used safely.
Young babies explore their world by putting things in their mouths, noses and ears. Children under 3 years of age do not have a well-developed coughing reflex and can choke easily on small items.
When you are choosing toys, consider these points:
The smaller the child, the bigger the toy should be. Remember that children under 3 can’t cough things up. So if a toy is as small as a ping-pong ball, or can easily break into parts the size of a ping-pong ball (or smaller), then a child under three should not be playing with it. Don’t forget to make sure that any eyes, noses or buttons on soft toys are securely attached, and check them regularly.
Surface material and fillings
Check that paints and fillings used on or inside toys aren’t toxic, because children could be poisoned if they lick or swallow them. Also, check that soft toys are fire resistant, and that the fillings can’t come out easily and cause a child to choke.
Ensure any batteries, particularly small ‘button’ or ‘coin’ batteries, are secure within their compartment, and cannot come out easily – batteries should not be handled by children and are toxic if ingested.
Check that strings or tails on toys are not long enough to form a loop that might constrict a finger, a limb, or even the neck – this might cut off a child’s circulation or cause strangulation. Also check that any strings or tails are firmly attached to the toy.
Small children need close supervision with toys to help prevent accidents from happening.
Sources: Australian Competition & Consumer Association (Toys for children up to and including 36 months of age).
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