As a new mother you have so many different things to worry about, especially around Christmas time. When you have that first baby shower you’re just happy to get some free stuff for your kid. But remember, you need to read the labels on all of the toys you buy your child on this holiday shopping season. Her are 10 reasons why:
1. Thanks to India & China check the paint or finish on the toy to make sure it is non-toxic, since babies put everything in their mouths. And check older toys for sharp points, rough edges, rust, and broken parts.
2. Discard any plastic wrapping, plastic bags, packaging, or tags before giving a toy to a baby. And make sure toys are properly assembled, with no loose parts.
3. Watch for choking hazards. Anything small enough to fit in your baby’s mouth has the potential for danger. Watch for pieces that may become loose from a larger object, too. And make sure that no small parts can be pulled or chewed off the toy.
4. Follow the age rating on the package. No matter how intelligent your child is or how wonderful the toy, don’t believe the vendor is playing games, since age rankings are often given due to safety issues. If you choose to purchase a toy with an older age recommendation, make certain the toy is used only when you’re playing with your baby, and that it is stored where your baby can’t get to it without your supervision.
5. Remove rattles, squeeze toys, teethers, stuffed animals and other small toys from the crib or bed when your baby goes to sleep for naps or bedtime. The exception here is a specialty made-for-baby toy that has been carefully created to be considered safe.
6. Avoid pull toys with long cords that could wind around your baby’s neck. Pull toys for babies should have either very short strings or rigid handles.
7. Never give a baby a balloon, Styrofoam, or plastic wrap as a toy; these present a serious chocking hazard, since they cannot be expelled using the Heimlich maneuver.
8. Beware of excessively loud toys. Babies tend to hold things close to their faces, and you want to protect your baby’s sensitive ears.
9. Purchase mobiles or crib toys from reputable manufacturers, and make sure that they attach to the crib without dangling strings. Remove mobiles and other crib toys once your baby can sit up.
10. Your baby’s toy bin should have a special safety lid (or no lid at all) to prevent it from slamming on her head or hands, or trapping her inside. There shouldn’t be any hinges that could pinch little fingers.
Are their any other things we should keep in mind when buying toys for our babies? Let us know…. If you want to see toy related emergency room visits over the last 4 years check this out from the Consumer Product Safety Commission at CSPC.gov.