The CPSC (U.S Consumer Products Safety Commission) regulates and monitors toys. Toys that are imported to USA or made there should conform to their standards. Toys are generally labeled for different age groups. It is very essential to select safe toys for toddlers and supervise toddlers when they are playing. Many infants have the habit of stuffing their mouths with anything they can lay hands on and one of the major risks is choking.
Here are a few tips on choosing toys for toddlers.
1. Toys should comply with safety standards
When selecting toys for toddlers, it is necessary to check whether it meets the current standards of safety. It is customary for mothers to allow their children to play with hand-me-downs from their older siblings. In some instances, the toys may be fairly worn out and break in which case the toddler will get hurt. Try not to allow your toddler to handle such toys.
2. Musical toys should not damage their delicate eardrums
Some of the toys may entertain children with their flashing lights and music but care has to be taken to ensure that they are not too loud. Over a period the eardrums may get affected as the electronic toys emit piercing sounds.
3. Select the right size of toys
Toys should not be too small as toddlers can try to swallow them. Avoid small magnets, coins, marbles and balls. If the toy is about 1 ½ inch diameter and 2 ¼ inches wide, it can be considered safe.
4. Types of toys to avoid
Toys with batteries should also not be left within the reach of a child. Toys should be unbreakable with no sharp or protruding ends. When you allow them to play with stuffed animals make sure that the eyes and nose are securely fastened and they cannot pull out buttons or small parts as this would go directly into their mouths. Some toys use toxic chemicals which are harmful to the child.
5. Stuffed animals
Unless you can be sure of the quality of these toys, avoid letting toddlers play with them. Many of these toys use inferior quality colors and synthetic fibers which will affect the child as they have a natural tendency of trying to chew on them. The fabric should have a label to state whether it is flame retardant or flame resistant. These toys should be washable.
6. Avoid toys with cords that are longer than a foot
Never leave such toys within the reach of a child. Hanging mobiles should be suspended at a safe height and any toys with cords should not be left near a toddler as they can inadvertently wrap it around their neck and strangulate. Similarly, never keep plastic bags near children.
7. Toddlers are fascinated with moving objects
A toddler’s motor skills develop as they become a year old. At this tender age, they love to push and pull, make gurgling sounds and open and close things. A few toys that you can get them at this age are little blocks that have rounded edges and corner. They can be made of foam or molded plastic or fabric. They enjoy pulling and pushing toys around especially when they learn to take their first steps.
8. When toddlers start taking faster steps
By the time they are two years old they start talking to themselves or address their toys. It is important to encourage their creative skills and let them romp around with toys that move. Their muscles are strengthened when climb or jump around. Some children may prefer to concentrate on putting together a puzzle or arranging rings in a cone in different sizes or height order.