Keeping the Kids Safe: Choosing Safer Toys Can Help Reduce Injuries
Everyone knows that small children tend to learn by exploring their worlds. They see everything as an opportunity to uncover something new. In particular, young children learn by playing. They spend a lot of their time around toys, which makes it crucial for parents and caregivers to keep their safety in mind when selecting toys for their children to play with.
Our Colorado Springs injury law firm has researched and reviewed actual cases in which small parts, unsafe materials or other hazards caused harm to a child. As parents and caregivers, adults want children to be happy and safe; we do not want the toys they are meant to enjoy and learn from to end up causing them harm in any way.
Here are a few helpful tips for choosing safer toys for toddlers and preschoolers:
Toys Should be Big Enough to Prevent Choking
Toys larger than 2 inches in diameter and 3 inches in length are typically large enough that a child will be unable to choke on them. If you aren’t sure whether a toy is too small to be safe, do not let small children play with it. Fragile toys that may break into parts small enough to be swallowed should also not be given to small children.
Paint Used on Toys Should be Lead-Free
Lead is a heavy metal that can cause serious brain damage and other lifelong injuries. Children are especially at risk for the dangers of lead poisoning because their bodies are small and their brains are still developing. Look for labels stating that paint used in toys is lead-free. If you are painting a child’s toy or play item, use lead-free paint only.
Steer Clear of the Loud Toys
Children have more delicate hearing than adults, and their ears can be damaged more easily. Listen to rattles, squeaks, and other sounds made by toys before giving them to your child. Avoid toys that are louder than the average “indoor voice.”
Make Sure Those Stuffed Toys are Washable
When a favorite stuffed toy accidentally comes into contact with a harmful substance, a washable toy can be cleaned and returned to the child who loves it. Non-washable toys, on the other hand, typically must be thrown away if soiled by a dangerous substance like paint, oil, or cleaning supplies.
Fabrics Used on Toys Should be Marked “Flame-Resistant” or “Flame-Retardant”
This standard applies not only to children’s clothing and bedding, but also to toys made of or containing fabrics, like stuffed animals and dolls. Flame-resistant materials are less likely to catch fire, reducing the risk of serious burns.
Battery Cases Should Close With Screws
Batteries can cause harm to toddlers and pre-schoolers, who don’t know that they can cause chemical burns and other injuries. If a toy requires batteries, the case should be secured with screws so children cannot open it.
Arts and Crafts Materials Should be Labeled “Non-Toxic”
Although lead is a serious concern for children, it is not the only substance that can cause harm. Art materials for children should be clearly labeled “non-toxic”; these items are generally free of harmful chemicals, including lead. Crayons and paints that have been evaluated as safe for children by the American Society for Testing and Materials will carry the marking “ASTM D-4236” on the package.
If a child you care for is hurt by a dangerous toy, don’t hesitate to contact our Colorado Springs injury law firm to learn more about your legal rights. Keep your children safe -- call our office today.