Toddlers love to play with toys, so it’s important to ensure they’re safe.
Any toy that fits completely into your toddler’s mouth is too small and can cause choking.
Here are some other things to keep in mind:
Check that your toddler can’t squash a larger toy, such as a sponge, into a smaller size and put it in his mouth. A good rule of thumb is: anything that can pass down the middle of a toilet paper roll is too small for a toddler.
Supervise your child at all times, even while playing with toys. A toddler can get into harm’s way very quickly.
- Make sure any paint on toys is non-toxic, lead-free, and cannot peel.
- Don’t give your toddler toys with strings, cords, or ribbons longer than 15 cm (6 in.). Longer ties can get wrapped around your toddler’s neck and cause strangulation. Cut cords off toys and use caution with cassette and VHS tapes, pull toys and skipping ropes.
- Polystyrene or styrofoam materials such as egg cartons, packing materials, and food containers are a choking hazard.
- Check toys often for broken, sharp, or loose pieces. Fix or throw out broken toys right away.
- Use caution with battery operated toys. Make sure your toddler does not put batteries into his mouth. When the toy is not in use, store it and the batteries out of reach.
- Balloons are a serious choking hazard. Always blow up balloons for children. Never allow your toddler to suck or chew on unused, popped or inflated balloons.
- To prevent falls, store unused toys in a toy box with a lid that will not trap your toddler inside, slam down on her fingers or head, or cause suffocation.
- Buy washable toys and wash them often to prevent the spread of germs. Most stuffed toys can be put in a pillowcase with a knotted top and washed and dried with good results.
- When possible, give your toddler well made toys. These last longer and are generally safer.
- Always read the safety information on a toy’s warning label. Choose toys that are recommended for your toddler’s age.
- To prevent suffocation, immediately throw away or recycle the packaging from new toys.
Don’t let noise from toys damage your toddler’s hearing. If you have to raise your voice to be heard above a toy, it's too noisy.