Choosing Safe and Appropriate Baby Toys

by | Apr 14, 2011 | Gifts

Choosing appropriate and safe baby toys in this age of mass manufacturing and outsourcing is quite a daunting task since there are so many brands and choices in the market that you cannot be sure off.  I have seen so many news reports regarding how a baby died because the toy he was playing with was apparently laced with toxic chemicals or because the toy was too small that when he chewed on it, he accidentally swallowed and choked on it.  Yes, this is a harsh reality and because we are living in a world where quantity trumps quality, it is hard to find safe and proper toys for our babies.  Nevertheless, you still need to get your baby a toy even with these risks looming at us at every turn since toys are fantastic tools to motivate learning and stimulate the senses.  This being said, here are some tips on how you can choose safe and appropriate toys for your baby.

  1. Choose age appropriate toys.  Before even looking for safe and non-toxic toys, it is critical that you consider the age level of your baby when choosing his toys.  Babies tend to get bored if the toy given to them is either too basic or too advanced for his age and mental level.  Therefore, it is vital that you choose the right toy for your baby’s age.  Most of the toys sold in the toy store will have age appropriate tags that you can check.  The packaging will indicate the age range where the toy will be appropriate for.  Make sure to keep this in mind as you purchase toys.
  2. Stick to known brands.  Normally, the most popular toy brands are the safest for your baby.  Brands like Chicco, Sunshine Kids, Kidco, Graco, and Dream Baby all have baby toys that are supposedly non-toxic and safe.  Since they are wary about the reputation of their brand, they will never cut costs on quality assurance during the production and manufacturing of their toys.
  3. Purchase toys that encourage development.  Toys are not only used to keep the attention of your baby fixed.  Toys are important instruments for learning and development.  For your baby, make sure to purchase toys that stimulate each of his five senses.  For instance, it would be great to have a toy that releases various sounds when shaken.  This will stimulate hearing and his muscles as he rattles the toy. 
  4. Select toys that are too big for the baby’s mouth.  Babies love to put stuff in their mouths.  This is perfectly normal.  The problem is that if the toy is small enough to fit in his mouth then the risk of him choking on it will be much higher.  Furthermore, bacterial invasion is another risk that this will expose him to.  In this regard, it will be wise to stick with larger toys that have no small movable parts.  For instance, a stuffed animal would probably be safe but if the material used for its eyes are small and can be removed, your baby might be able to remove it and chew on it. 
  5. Choose washable toys.  Toys that can be washed will be better for your baby since regularly washing and cleaning them will reduce the chances of bacterial growth on them.  Remember, babies will love to put anything on their mouth which means the saliva of the baby can really smother a toy.  If the toy is not washed, it can develop mean bacteria that can threaten the health and well being of your baby.      

Aside from these common sense tips, it is highly recommended to stay away from toys made in China, India, and other third world nation.  It may be cheap but the toxicity and risks of the toys may be more than a baby can handle.  Some reputable brands have outsourced the manufacturing of their toys to these countries so make sure to check on the background of each brand that you see in the toy store.

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