Why Parents Need To Monitor Their Childrens Toys
You already know not to give a toy featuring lots of tiny attached parts to a toddler (at least, we hope you do). Did you also know that even basic toys and toys for older kids need to be inspected as well? No matter how old your kid gets, keeping a vigilant watch over the toys he or she plays with is important. Here are a few tips to make it easier for you.
Keep Up with Recalls
Every once in a while you’ll hear a story on the news about toy recalls. A few years ago it involved almost the entire major toy manufacturer’s product line because US inspectors found out that the Chinese manufacturers had used lead based paint on the toys they were building and shipping over here. Not all recalls are that huge or get that much publicity so you have to do more work to find out about them.
The easiest thing to do is set up a Google News Alert for “toys being recalled” or something similar. This way if something comes up in the news, you’ll get an email about it. You should also consider signing up for the mailing list of all of the toy manufacturers whose toys you give to your kids—especially if they come from independent and small shops.
Thoroughly Inspect Each Toy
Don’t assume that something is going to be made well or properly. Before you let your kids play with newly purchased toys, look them over. Test all of the moving parts. Tug on attached pieces. If something breaks or comes off, take the toy back to the store immediately and make sure that the store knows that the toy was poorly made. You should also email the toy company to tell them what you’ve found so that they can let other people know about it.
Do this regularly so that you’ll know about any wear and tear that the toys have gone through. Remember: kids play rough—even if something is well made when it is given to them; it can become broken or faulty within a few days or even hours, depending on how hard the kids play with it.
Read the Package
Make sure you know what materials were used to make the toys you are giving to your kids. Like food, many toy packages will contain a list of “ingredients.” Read those ingredients and make sure you know what they are. Check for things like UL approval on electric toys, non-toxic labels on crayons and other art supplies, etc.
Keeping up with all of the things you need to do to keep your kids safe can feel overwhelming. The tips in this article should help you and remember: above all else, use your common sense! You’ll know if something isn’t right for your kids!