Playtime is a great learning opportunity. You can introduce your little one to new skills that will help develop their functional, cognitive and fine motor skills and provide challenges for working things out independently.
It’s important to consider all aspects of your child’s safety when choosing toys for them to play with. Take a look below at our top 5 safety tips.
1. Look for the symbols
Look for the CE symbol and the UKCA mark. This is a claim by the manufacturer that the toy meets with regulatory requirements for England, Scotland and Wales.
Also, look for the voluntary British Toy and Hobby Association’s (BTHA) ‘Lion Mark’. This means that as a member of the BTHA trade association, the toys meet the necessary safety requirements.
2. Toy size is important
Toys such as marbles, coins, tiny balls and beads are all too small for children under the age of 5, as they can pose a choking hazard. Toys should be at least 3cm in diameter and 6cm in length so your little one doesn’t accidentally swallow the toy.
Avoid the following:
- Toys with loose pile fabric or hair which sheds easily, presenting a choking hazard
- Toys with small components or parts that detach
3. Look for the labels
Labels give a clear indication of the age a child needs to be before they can play with a certain toy. This will support their developmental milestones and ensure that the toy is safe for them to play with.
Labels will also indicate if the toy can be washed or any other safety measures to consider, such as the toy comes apart, which could pose a potential hazard depending on your child’s age.
4. Check for sharp edges
It is inevitable that as your child plays and is learning to explore the world around them, that toys will end up in their mouth, eyes and even their ears. This means that toys need to be checked for any sharp edges before being given to them.
Check toys periodically to ensure they have not become dangerously worn, revealing sharp points and edges or filling materials. Toys with rounded edges, plush toys and toys made of rubber are some of the safest options.
5. Supervise your child’s play
By supervising your child’s play, you can ensure your little one is playing safely. You will also be supporting them to reach their developmental milestones and encourage sharing and turn-taking. If the toy is brand new, you can observe how your child experiences this toy and whether any hazards crop up. In this way, you can correct the issue or remove the toy to keep your little one safe.
Let’s keep playtime a safe space for your little one to learn, develop and grow.
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