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Health Information For Parents
Toys are a fun and important part of every child’s development. But each year, many kids are treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries. Choking is a risk for kids ages 3 or younger, because they tend to put objects in their mouths.
Manufacturers follow guidelines and label most new toys for specific age groups. But the most important thing a parent can do — especially when it comes to younger children — is to supervise play.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) closely monitors and regulates toys. Any toys made in — or imported into — the United States after 1995 must follow CPSC standards.
Here are some general guidelines to keep in mind when shopping for toys:
Steer clear of older toys, even hand-me-downs from friends and family. These might not meet current safety standards.
And make sure a toy isn’t too loud for your child. The noise of some rattles, squeak toys, and musical or electronic toys can be as loud as a car horn — even louder if a child holds it directly to the ears — and can damage hearing.
Always read labels to make sure a toy is right for a child’s age. Guidelines published by the CPSC and other groups can help you make those buying decisions.
Be sure to consider your child’s temperament, habits, and behavior whenever you buy a new toy. Even a child who seems advanced compared with other kids the same age shouldn’t use toys meant for older kids. The age levels for toys are determined by safety factors, not intelligence or maturity.
After you’ve bought safe toys, it’s also important to make sure kids know how to use them. The best way to do this is by supervising kids as they play. This teaches kids how to play safely while having fun.
And be sure to keep toys clean. Some plastic toys can be cleaned in the dishwasher, but read the manufacturer’s directions first. Another option is to mix antibacterial soap or a mild dishwashing detergent with hot water in a spray bottle and use it to clean toys, rinsing them afterward.
Check the CPSC website for the latest information about toy recalls or call their hotline at (800) 638-CPSC to report a toy you think is unsafe. If you have any doubt about a toy’s safety, err on the side of caution and do not allow your child to play with it.
An age-wise guide on play and the toys that encourage learning, promote motor skill development, and spark imagination.
All toys you select for your baby or toddler should meet safety standards. These tips can help you find safe toys for your little one.
How can you tell if a small toy poses a choking risk? What types of unsafe toys should you avoid for your baby, toddler, or preschooler? Find out here.
Is your 10-year-old crying for a pellet gun? How about that used scooter? For help figuring out what toys are safe and appropriate for older kids, read these tips.
Play is the building block of childhood. It teaches kids about their world. Here, learn what activities inspire and motivate, and which toys are not only safer, but smarter, too.
Play is the primary way that infants learn how to move, communicate, socialize, and understand their surroundings. And during the first month of life, your baby will learn by interacting with you.
After learning to recognize your voice, your face, and your touch, your baby will start responding more to you during these months and even give you a smile!
Your infant will learn to sit during this time, and in the next few months will begin exploring by reaching out for objects, grasping and inspecting them.
Your baby is learning more about the world through play and is beginning to use words. Keep those toys and games coming!
Kids go from babies to toddlers during this time, from first steps to walking well. They also make major strides in language and communication.
You might think of babies and toddlers when you hear the words “babyproofing” or “childproofing,” but unintentional injury is the leading cause of death in kids 14 and under.
It might look like just child’s play, but toddlers are hard at work learning important physical skills as they gain muscle control, balance, and coordination.
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
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