Choosing Safe and Age Appropriate Toys

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Choosing Safe and Age Appropriate Toys

Toys are a fundamental part of every toddler's life. But if they aren't carefully chosen, they can become a threat. As you wander through a toy store, consider not only whether the toys you select will be fun and educational, but also whether they will be safe. You can refer to our developmental milestones chart to see what toys your child might benefit from the most in a particular age group.

Here's some important information to keep in mind when looking for toys for your child:

Age-appropriateness For the safety of your child follow the label recommendations on toys that you buy. Toys that aren't labeled for age appropriateness should be avoided or carefully checked before purchasing. Toys that belong to older siblings that do not meet the safety recommendations should be kept away from the younger child.

Developmental Appropriateness Consider not only your child's age, but his/her behaviour and developmental stage when you buy. No matter what age and no matter how bright, children who still explore objects by mouthing them should not have toys with small parts due to the risk of chocking. Some children stop putting items in their mouths that don't belong there at 12 months, while others don't stop until 3 years or older.

Safe Size Avoid any toys that can fit completely into your child's mouth or that have any small parts that can be mouthed. Also be sure that a larger toy can't be squeezed or molded into a smaller, potentially dangerous size.

Sturdy construction A flimsily fashioned toy not only won't last long, but could also shatter or fall apart producing dangerously small or sharp parts that could injure your child.

Safe finish Paint, if any should be non-toxic and durable. The finish should be unlikely to peel or splinter.

Safe ingredients Art supplies, which end up in the mouth and on the skin as often as they do on paper should be non-toxic.

Wash ability Stuffed animals and other soft toys that can't be tossed in the washing machine may become a breeding ground for germs, so look for "machine-washable" on the care tags.

Listed below are some examples of age-appropriate toys to help you in your search: Always check manufacturer's instructions before use!!!

Infants activity quilts, stuffed animals, without button noses and eyes, bath toys, soft dolls, baby swings, cloth books, squeaky toys

1 --- 3 years old books, blocks, balls, push-and-pull toys, pounding toys, shape toys

3 --- 5 years old crayons, finger paints, clay, chalk and blackboard, tricycles, wagons, housekeeping toys, outdoor swing set or playhouse, easy puzzles with large pieces, and books.

5 --- 9 years old craft materials, jump ropes, puppets, books, trains and other electric and battery-operated toys for kids ages 8 and over

9 --- 14 years old computers, microscopes, table and board games, sports equipment, with protective gear included

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