Every day, 1.3 million youngsters are entrusted to their grandparents, according to the United States Census Bureau. A grandparent’s role includes pampering and educating their grandchildren with items they will appreciate. Toys, after all, are considered childhood treasures. With this duty comes the extra responsibility of ensuring that grandkids are safe and enjoy an age-appropriate toy. Grandparents account for a significant proportion of toy purchasers. Thousands of toys are sold with the intention of educating and entertaining children. Unfortunately, not all toys are suitable for children to play with. What should a grandparent look for while buying a favorite toy for their grandchildren?
Most physicians and child specialists feel that there are several hidden risks in toys that should be made public. Here is a guide for grandparents to utilize while shopping for a unique gift for that particular little person:
- Ensure that the item is acceptable for the child’s age. Item package labels should state the age group for whom the toy is intended. Consider that children of all ages have varying degrees of maturity. You should avoid purchasing a toy that will not keep the child’s interest. Make careful to get educational toys that are appropriate for each child’s age group. This will make the toy more effective and enjoyable to use.
- Read and adhere to any warning labels. Choking is the leading cause of toy-related fatalities, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). Warning labels are designed to notify parents if a toy presents a choking danger to children under the age of three. These markings are required under federal law. Keep toys designed for older children out of the reach of younger ones. Balls, for example, should not be less than 1.75′′ in diameter. Toys with little pieces that may be wrenched off by tiny inquisitive hands should be avoided. Toys with little pieces include the eyes of a plush teddy bear and the wheels of a wooden automobile. Stuffed and wooden toys are still popular among youngsters; but think BIG while inspecting the toy’s “components.” Toys should be big enough to fit in the child’s mouth. If a toy or toy element can fit inside an empty toilet paper roll, the toy is probably too tiny. This is not a child-safe toy. Toys with tiny pieces should be fastened and guaranteed not to fall off.
- Make certain that toys do not have sharp or pointed edges. As every experienced mother or father knows, tiny toddlers have a habit of putting everything in their mouth. To minimize cuts and injuries, toys should be devoid of sharp edges. While playing, a youngster may trip and fall on top of a toy. To prevent injury, ensure that sharp edges are cushioned or removed.
- Stay away from loud toys. Children’s ears are very sensitive, and harsh sounds may quickly harm their hearing. Use your own ears to determine if a toy is excessively loud. If the toy is too loud for you, the youngster will find it twice as loud. You may remove the toy’s batteries or conceal the speakers with tape. This approach is not recommended since the tape may be ripped off and swallowed by the youngster.
- Make certain that toys are free of harmful substances. Toxic substances have been found in toys including as painting tools, pretend makeup, and crayons. Before making a purchase, read the label to learn about the product’s components and contents. The same label should also provide advice on what to do in the event of unintentional consumption of any dangerous material included in the item. If you need a reference, you should contact your local poison control center.
- Some toys have cables or strings. If a rope or string is longer than 12 inches, it might cause strangulation if looped. Never, ever, ever cut an electrical wire! Check that all electrical cables and wires are secure and protected. If an electrical toy must be connected into an outlet, be careful to supervise. Toys that run on batteries are desirable, particularly when small children are around. However, battery doors must be examined on a regular basis to ensure that they are secure and cannot be opened. If strings are cut, ensure sure frayed edges are likewise trimmed. When shopping for crib mobiles, be sure the mobile can be properly installed high on the crib and out of reach of newborns.
- If you decide to buy a toy on the Internet, there are a few things you should be aware of: Toys purchased over the internet may not comply with US toy rules. Toys that have been recalled by the CPSC may be sold on auction sites. This may be because the toys posed a risk to children’s safety. If you stumble across a recalled toy or want to check what toys have been recalled, there are websites that may help you. The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or http://Recalls.gov offer sites with useful information.
- Keep an eye on your grandchild and be realistic about his or her talents and maturity levels. Consider the following questions: Is the youngster physically prepared for a certain toy? Is the toy too big? If a heavy toy falls on a youngster, it might cause serious injuries. Determine if the youngster can physically manage a hefty toy. Teach the youngster how to use the toy in the safest manner indicated by the maker. SUPERVISE AGAIN!
- When purchasing video games, keep in mind the age guidelines for each game and the ratings. T-rated games may include violence, profanity, and material that is inappropriate for children under the age of 13. When purchasing a video game for a younger kid, the optimal rating would be EC for early childhood or E for everyone.
- Do you remember when you used to purchase toys for your children? How much money have we spent watching our children, only to have our children’s children go to the kitchen cabinet, get out all the pots and pans and wooden spoons, and bang away happily for hours? Or grandparents manufactured or purchased safe and enjoyable wooden toy cars and wood-constructed pull toys. Perhaps all the banging of pots and pans is no longer something we want to experience, but there are still enjoyable and informative wooden toys available.
There was a time when toys were sold and purchased with little consideration for safety. Grandparents could purchase any item that their grandkids would undoubtedly like without regard for whether the product was age-appropriate. It was considered that children had the instinctive understanding not to pick up monopoly money and put it in their mouth. Slinkys were toys designed to “walk” down your nearest flight of steps. Who thought youngsters would start using the Slinky as a rope to carry their younger siblings to the tallest treetop? The world has changed. Because so many toy tragedies have occurred, it is now critical to educate children and grandparents the significance of toy safety. The most wonderful aspect of being a grandmother is seeing their grandkids grow up happy and healthy. Grandparents have the ability to safeguard their grandkids by being vigilantly informed consumers.