Toys are important for your child’s development. They are fun and interesting, and can help your child to develop a wide variety of skills.
There are a lot of toys that can be dangerous to a child, especially if they are not age-appropriate or if they are made from potentially harmful materials. As a parent, you can evaluate your child’s toys by going over some simple steps to make sure they don’t present safety issues.
Here are a few steps to create a safe play environment for your child:
- Choose an age-appropriate toy for your child that complies with the Australian Standard. Check the toy labels before you purchase them.
- Choose sturdy toys that are not made out of brittle plastic. Look out for any sharp edges, or parts which could snap off or be pulled off.
- To avoid a choking hazard, steer clear of toys that can fit in your child’s mouth, including small parts that could be removed
- The string or the elastic on toys should be less than 300 mm in length.
- Toys that are appropriate for a toddler or a pre-schooler may not be safe for infants. It’s best to keep away toys belonging to an older child from an infant or a toddler. There can be a lot of safety issues involved with age-inappropriate toys, like: choking hazards, or finger traps where toddlers can trap their little fingers in the toy’s holes.
- Prevent injuries by storing toys at a lower level, so that your child can easily reach them without having to climb to get them.
- When buying a toy, look for labels like “not suitable for children under three”, which indicates the toy may have small parts that can represent a choking hazard.
- Whenever you pick up your child’s toys to put them away, have a quick check to see if they are still appropriate to play with. Some toys deteriorate faster, so you may have to get rid of toys you only recently purchased if they are cracking or parts are coming loose.
- When making crafts with your child and scissors are involved in the creative process, purchase child safety scissors designed for little fingers and hands. It’s a great idea to be seated with your child supervising them while using the scissors. Too many fringes have been sacrificed to children with spare time and scissors!
- Whenever you child is playing with big boxes drill or poke air holes in them in case your child decides to hide in them. Check that play boxes don’t have hinged lids or slow closers that can crush little fingers.
These are some simple steps you can go through on a regular basis to make sure your child’s toys are safe and age-appropriate. All toys in sold Australia should comply with Australian Safety Standards; however, sometimes faults are detected and the toy may be recalled. If you would like to check the Australian recall list, visit the http://www.recalls.gov.au
Discover the age appropriate toys for your child at playgroup
At playgroup, you can get creative with your child knowing that they have access to the right toys. All playgroups are supervised by our volunteers and offer safe play activities for babies and toddlers, as well as for children up to 3 years old.
You can find a playgroup in your area or if there is not one in your area, click here to discover how to start a playgroup.
Feel free to contact us for any questions, enquiries, or additional information.