Safe Toys 101: A Parent’s Guide

It’s no secret that children love toys. From stuffed animals to bicycles, toys help children explore their imaginations, stay active, and learn. As a parent, you may have some concerns about what toys are best for your child. Today, there are millions of toy options and thousands of different companies producing them. With so many choices, it can be difficult to make a decision. Here are some tips and tricks to finding the right toy for your child, no matter what age they are.

Toy Safety in the United States

Toys are regulated differently in every country. The United States has some of the strictest rules regarding toy safety and enforces them, diligently. Toys must adhere to safety guidelines and appropriately label their products according to set standards. In the event that a toy is found to be unsafe after it has been produced and sold, a recall is issued. Recalls serve to alert the public to any safety hazards that the toy may pose and give the public a chance to return their products.

In 2008, the United States passed the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. This act limited the number of harmful substances that could be found in a product. It changed the testing and documentation required for products to pass safety regulations and made the consequences for failing to adhere to the standards much more severe. While these rules apply to all products, the law was specifically enacted to prohibit the manufacturing of unsafe toys in the United States.

Potential Hazards to Look Out For When Shopping for Toys

  • Age Restrictions – Many toys come with age restrictions. Toys with small pieces aren’t ideal for children under the age of 3 years old to play with because they pose a choking hazard. Additionally, some toys require children to be able to hold themselves up and support themselves.
  • Chemicals – The materials that toys are made out of matter. Parents have become more and more concerned about the BPA, PVC, dyes and other potentially harmful chemicals that have been found in toys. More and more parents are opting for wooden toys in favor of their simplicity, sturdiness, and lack of chemicals.
  • Poor Craftsmanship – If a company has a history of making toys that have been recalled or utilizes unsafe production methods, then you should stay away from their products. These toys can come apart and harm your child while they play. Stick with companies that have a good reputation when it comes to safety and quality.
  • Hand-me-down or older toys – Toys that were made prior to 1978 may contain lead-based paint which has been shown to have negative effects on children’s health. Toys that have been homemade, likely won’t pass any safety regulations. Specifically, homemade toys aren’t typically made to be flame retardant.
Other Factors to Consider:

In response to the over-consumption of raw materials and the astounding amount of toys that end up in landfills, many companies have begun to manufacture more eco-friendly products. These products are made from recycled materials and are typically free of any harmful chemicals that are usually found in plastic. No more worrying about BPA and you’re helping to conserve natural resources. It’s a win-win.

Conclusion

Toy safety has become a number one priority for parents. In order to make sure that you are buying the safest toys for your children, you should perform research on the products that you’re considering. However, as the United States has some of the strictest laws regarding toy safety, your chances of purchasing an unsafe product is low. When looking for the right toy for your children, finding one that encourages play and captures their imagination is invaluable.

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or by calling: 303-670-4401.

Make an Impact

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Davina WardDavina grew up in the outskirts of New York City, before eventually moving to Buffalo, New York at the age of 10. Her passion for adoption comes from her own experiences of being in foster care and being an adoptee herself. She hopes to help others to understand the intricacies of adoption and encourage them to consider it as an option.

Davina is a proud Geneseo Knights alum having graduated in 2018. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and chose to pursue a degree in English with hopes of making her hobby a career. Thus far, she has enjoyed her time as an intern for Adoption Choices Inc. and looks forward to a bright future in writing. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, building websites, and making lists.

 

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References:

Cronan, Kate. “Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers.” Kids Health. https://kidshealth.org/en/parents/safetoys-young.html

Nims, Brittany. “22 Non-Toxic Toys For Babies And Toddlers On Amazon.” HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/non-toxic-toys-for-babies-and-toddlers-on-amazon_n_5b293aece4b0a4dc99216b28

Watson, Stephanie. “Are Toys and Gadgets Good for Your Baby?” Web MD. https://www.webmd.com/parenting/baby/features/baby-toys#1

BabyCenter Staff. “Toys for 6- to 9-month-olds.” BabyCenter. https://www.babycenter.com/0_toys-for-6-to-9-month-olds_819.bc

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