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Tips To Buy Safe Toys For Babies

4 min read

By Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER) Fellowship PICU (Kings College London), Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital

There is simply no childhood without toys. Toys in fact, play an important role in child development. Extra caution needs to be exercised when buying toys for babies. This is because they cannot tell you if something has hurt them or got stuck in their throat. Of course, you are a vigilant mother, but why invite trouble when you can avoid it? Read below for a few smart tips to buy safe toys for your baby.
Baby toys

12 Tips Buying Safe Toys For Babies
  • Choose age appropriate toys: When you go toy shopping, you will see many colorful and vibrant choices. However, you should know that choosing age appropriate toys will help your baby learn and develop. Toys suitable for all ages and development stages are now available in the market. These factors should be considered while shopping toys for children. Click here to read about age appropriate toys for babies
  • Do not opt for loud toys: Babies are fascinated by toys that are animated, emit light and play music. They love to hold squeezies which make sound when pressed. You need to be careful here since too loud sound can impair hearing of your baby. This is because the baby’s play is unpredictable, what if he plays the toy near his ear?
  • Washable: Soft toys with fur and other elements should all be washable. Your baby is likely to explore these toys using his mouth and feeling the texture, so make sure he is not falling ill because of germs hoarded by the toys. You may consider disinfecting the toys and washing them regularly to keep dirt at bay
  • Consider toy size: Small toys increase the risk of choking. Ideally the toys should be greater than 6 cm in length and 1.75 cm diameter. Depending on the age of your baby, you may want to buys to stimulate his grip and coordination. Also select toys that are lightweight at the same time. Heavy toys may cause unwanted injury to your baby
  • Avoid small, loose parts: Toys containing removable parts or those that can be easily pulled such as eyes or buttons should be avoided. Similarly, watch out for button batteries, small coins and beads! They increase the risk of choking. Click here to know what you should do if your child swallows a coin or a small object
  • Resistant to chewing: Babies tend to put anything and everything in their mouth. They will chew toys or simply suck on them and squeal! So make sure that toys do not give in to your baby’s teething. The toys should not chip and break into small pieces which could be swallowed by your baby

Buying safe toys for babies

  • No sharp edges: Your baby’s skin is still developing and can be easily injured. Touch the plastic surface of the toys and feel the edges for any sharpness which may hurt your baby. Similarly stay clear of toys with protruding parts
  • Check strings or wires: Toys with long strings, threads or wires pose a risk of strangulation for small babies. Sometimes babies can get caught among these which may hamper blood circulation and cause serious injuries. Remove any long ribbons or cords from the toys before handing them to the babies.
  • Pick non-toxic toys: Toys containing paint, rubber or plastic may be potentially dangerous for your baby. These contain lead and pthalates which are dangerous. Make sure that the toys are marked as “non toxic”. Stay away from toys that may be flammable
  • Sturdy is the key: Babies will do everything possible with their toys. Yanking, pulling, throwing, chewing, banging etc. Toys should not become chipped or yield small parts when exposed to such behavior. So choose toys which are able to withstand such exposure. Toys that are cracked, with loose or broken parts should be immediately discarded
  • Avoid electric toys: Toys that have wire connection or run on electricity should be avoided. For the same reason that they will eventually end up in your baby’s mouth. Electric toys also have the risk of developing short-circuits and shocks. With time, the wires may become broken in places and dangerous live cords can be fatal
  • Buying second hand toys: If you are buying any second hand or used toy for your baby, make sure you inspect the toy well. Check for any buttons, nuts, batteries, wires, ribbons, eyes, beads, or plastic bits that could be coming off due to wear and tear. Anything that can be easily snapped or chewed away by your baby is not a good deal

Warning label
Whenever you buy a new toy, discard the plastic covers immediately as they pose serious hazards to babies. It’s best not to leave your baby unattended with toys. It’s also recommended that you inspect your baby’s toys at regular intervals for their wear and tear. If the toy has loose, moving parts, it’s best to discard them appropriately.
It’s wise to purchase toys suitable for baby’s age and those that will stimulate his development. As Doug Taylor rightly quoted “Toys are the greatest inspiration for me. People never really grow up.”
So next time you are out to buy toys, do not forget the safety aspect of toys!

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Dr. Chetan Ginigiri,MBBS(JIPMER), MD (PGIMER) Fellowship PICU (Kings College London), Head of Dept – Paediatric & Neonatal services, Aster CMI Hospital

Dr Chetan Ginigeri is an experienced Pediatric Intensivist with national and international training. With 15 years of experience, he is one among very few Intensivists in India trained to take care of children who need/had organ transplants. He has been responsible for coordinating the Pediatric Organ Transplant program.Read more.

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