Choosing safe toys for kids during the holidays
by Cole Pediatric
Choosing the appropriate toys for your children or children of loved ones can often be a difficult task. Most manufacturers have a suggested age recommendation on the packaging of their toys, therefore always remember to choose toys that are appropriate for the child’s age. Also keep in mind that as children age, they want to be involved in the toy choosing process as well. Advertisements and commercials play a large role in the child’s choice of what toys they want, however they may not always be age appropriate. Below are a few suggested guidelines to follow while you selecting toys for the holidays or any occasion.
1. Consider rattles and teething rings made of plastic for toddlers and infants up to one year old. Stuffed toys that are lightweight and machine washable are also age appropriate for young infants. Make sure they don’t have any embellishments or plastic eyes, as they are a choking hazard.
2. Choose toys that open and close and have lots of knobs and dials for children age 12 to 18 months. Sorting toys are also fun for toddlers, but make sure they aren’t small enough to be a choking hazard. As every parent knows, children go mobile at this age, and their toys need to be mobile as well. Also remember, that toddlers play next to other children, rather than with other children, so keep that in mind when selecting age-appropriate toys. Children at this age are beginning to work on their motor skills therefore ride-on toys are fun and age appropriate if the child can walk.
3. Select toys, such as blocks, that enhance children’s shape recognition for toddlers 18 to 24 months. Toddlers also enjoy toys such as push-and-pull buses and trains with plastic people they can remove. These types of toys help to improve a toddler’s hand-eye coordination. Again just make sure that any removable parts are large enough not to be a choking hazard.
4. Pick toys that center around make-believe for children age 2 to 3 years. At this age, children learn how to use their imagination. Kitchen toys, plastic tools and toy phones are ideal for children of this age, as it allows them to mimic adults.
5. Purchase toys for preschool age and up that stimulate their mind and represent their interests. If your child is interested in building, consider buying Legos or Lincoln Logs. If your child shows an excitement for art, then buy an assortment of art supplies such as paint, chalk and an easel. As your child ages and begins to approach the teen years they are typically more interested in electronic toys such as MP3 players and different hand held fast paced games or game consoles.
No matter the age, remember that safety is the key. Is the child mature enough to handle and understand the toy? While a child may want what’s pitched in the latest TV ad campaign, buying age-appropriate toys is the best way to insure that your child will have a fun, interesting, and safe childhood.
Happy Holidays from all of us at Cole Pediatric Therapy