For most parents, choosing safe kids toys is quite a simple task because of personal experiences as well as an increase in the awareness of being extremely careful at all times… but if someone is not a parent or does not interact much with the children, buying toys as a gift can be difficult and possibly even dangerous.
If you belong to the second category and you are thinking of buying toys for that special kid… check out these three simple tips for choosing safe kids toys!
#1 – Read the Age Suggestions
Almost all toy boxes have the recommended age range written somewhere on the box (check out the image above). Most websites or online stores such as Amazon.com even have their search criteria which allows you to filter by age groups thus making it easier for you to find the right toy. Many age suggestions help buyers decide if a toy may be too immature or too advanced for certain children, which is quite helpful for people who do not have kids, or do not know the child very well. However, some age suggestions are due to the fact that a toy may have small pieces that could be a choking hazard, sharp edges, or substances that should not be consumed by younger, unknowing children.
#2 – Check Customer Reviews
Most online stores like Amazon will show customer reviews from people who have bought the toy online or in the actual store. Not only can you get to read on the opinions from those who have bought, but also learn about unforeseen safety issues such as stickers that might peel off and be eaten, plastic parts that break easily or anything else the manufacturer might not have tested (or listed) but real kids have actually done. In addition to reviews, checking out for product recalls is also a good idea. Sometimes not all the products in the same toy line have been recalled, it may be that toys from just a specific factory have problems.
#3 – Use Common Sense
If a toy says great for all ages, it might not be. Crayons are non toxic and normally do not have an age limit, but a mother of a small toddler or infant may not want to be constantly scrubbing her walls or fishing pieces of colored wax out of her child’s mouth. Other toys may not be that dangerous, like Leapfrog tablets for infants, but take into account the weight of the objects too. A two year old dropping a video game might not just hurt himself, but break the ‘unbreakable’ game too. If a science set is recommended for older children, but the teen is immature for his age or has behavioral problems, giving him chemicals or a scalpel might not be ideal.
When you are in doubt, you can always check with the parents on the type of toys that the kid will like or pay a bit more attention to the toys that the kid is playing with you are paying them for a visit.
Most importantly, always keep all toy receipts for any returns, refunds or exchanges!