Read packaging label and instructions: Select toys that are of the appropriate age group for your child. Read the instructions carefully, focusing on warning statements. If you are confident that your child is no longer mouthing things, and choose to offer him a toy labelled as unsuitable for age 0 to 3 years old, supervise him closely during play.
2.Check manufacturer’s safety standards and policies: Both large and small brand names may produce toys subject to recall. Take some time to read the manufacturer’s safety policies on its website. Sometimes, you would be able to find safety tests certifications.
3. Use the toilet roll tube test: If the toy can fit into a toilet roll tube, it is too small and poses a choking hazard for young children.
4. Beware of small parts: Ideally, the toy should not have any detachable small parts such as the eyes, nose, buttons of a teddy bear. Stuffed toys should also not contain beans and pellets, which are hazardous when the toy is torn. The wheels of some toy cars may also come off during play, posing a choking risk.
5. Avoid small magnetic parts: U.S. CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) warns that when two small magnets (or a small magnet and a metal item) are swallowed, they can attract each other through the intestinal walls, leading to intestinal damage and even death. For this reason, avoid getting toys with small magnets that could fall out. Any magnets in the house should also be out of young children’s reach. One such hazard is fridge magnets, which are popular in many homes.
6. Avoid toys with cords and strings: Cords and strings pose a strangulation hazard, especially when many children love to wrap them around their necks. For pull-string toys, you may choose to tie a dead-knot to significantly shorten the strings, or cut them off.
7. Avoid toys that produce loud / sharp noises: These could cause permanent hearing damage. A young child may put the noisy toy next to her ears or her peer’s ears, so it is better to steer clear of these toys. 8. Choose toys made of wood or cloth: To avoid potentially harmful chemicals such as PVC, phthalates and BPA, some parents opt for wooden or cloth toys, especially for their children who are still mouthing items. When getting wooden toys, choose those with lead-free paint.
9. Check the quality of the toy: This is a checklist of other areas to watch out for:
Not easily breakable or chipped, especially thin plastic parts
No sharp corners Nothing to catch small fingers
No wooden splinters
No opened seams for soft toys
No metal rust
No peeling paint Battery case is screwed tight (Without a screw, a child may remove the cover and ingest the battery, which is very dangerous.)