age-appropriate toys. Most toys show a "recommended age" sticker,
which can be used as a starting point in the selection process.
toys that are well-made. Used toys passed down from older relatives
or siblings or bought at yard sales can be worn or frayed, which can
sometimes be dangerous. Check all toys – new or used – for buttons,
batteries, yarn, ribbons, eyes, beads, and plastic parts that could
easily be chewed or snapped off.
big. Until your child turns 3, toy parts should be bigger than his
mouth to prevent the possibility of choking. To determine whether a
toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper
roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, it's
sure your child is physically ready for the toy. For example,
parents of older kids may buy a bike one size too big so as not to
have to buy a new bike the next year. This tactic can lead to
serious injury if a child doesn't have the physical skills to
control the bigger bike.
the balloons. They may be cheerful party decorations and fun to
bounce around, but latex balloons are the main cause of toy-related
choking fatalities in children. When ingested, uninflated balloons
(or pieces of burst balloons) can form a tight seal in a child's
airway and make it impossible for him to breathe.
pick heavy toys. Could your child be harmed if it fell on him? If
pick toys with a string or cord longer than 12 inches. A cord can
too easily wrap around a young child's neck, causing strangulation.
Once your child can climb up on his hands and knees, remove crib
gyms and hanging mobiles from his crib. Avoid toys with small
magnets. The CPSC calls magnets a hidden home hazard. Small,
powerful magnets are often used in toys, and they may fall out of
the toy and be swallowed by a child. Two or more swallowed magnets
(or a magnet and a metal object) can be attracted to each other
through intestinal walls, twisting and pinching the intestines and
causing holes, blockages, infection, or worse if not discovered and
treated promptly. Between 2009 and 2011, the CPSC received reports
of 22 accidents involving children who swallowed magnets, including
11 incidents that resulted in surgery. The agency recommends keeping
toys with magnets away from kids under the age of 14.