As a kid, you might have scoffed at your parents when they told you not to run with scissors. However, that warning now takes on a whole new meaning when you think about the safety of your own kids. Young children are often unaware of the potential dangers that their toys present, and they get so involved with their play that they may forget your warnings.
Talking to your kids about toy safety is an essential part of your parenting plan that helps to prevent serious injuries.
Choose Toys Based Upon Age Level and Maturity
Most toys today have age recommendations that give you a good starting point for choosing safe ones. However, you may also need to take into consideration how your child tends to play with their toys. If they are the type to take toys apart out of curiosity, then it may be best to avoid ones with multiple small parts that could turn into sharp objects.
Demonstrate the Safe Way to Use Toys
Your kids also need to learn how to play with their toys properly while also using appropriate safeguards during their playtime. For example, toys that shoot foam objects though the air are common causes for children to need to visit the pediatric eye care center. Many eye injuries are preventable by simply showing kids how to avoid aiming at someone’s head and by encouraging kids to wear safety goggles when they engage with projectiles.
Enforce the Rules That You Establish
Simply telling your kid to wear their safety goggles or avoid running with sharp objects may not be enough. If you catch your kid breaking one of your safety rules, then it is important to address the issue right away. Talk to them about what could happen if they continue to engage in unsafe play. While you don’t want to terrify your kids, you can use age-appropriate language to let them know that a toy could poke them in the eye or cause a laceration.
Toss Out Toys That are Broken or Unsafe
Toy-related injuries are also more likely to happen when things get broken. For instance, a broken plastic toy may have sharp edges that can easily pierce the skin. Teach your kids to let you know if a toy is broken so that you can toss it and consider buying a replacement. This way, you know for certain that the toys in your child’s room are safe.
Your child’s toys help to foster their development while also providing them with a sense of enjoyment. Unfortunately, things can sometimes go wrong, and it is possible for many common toys to cause serious injuries. In addition to teaching your children how to play safely, be sure to brush up on your first aid skills so that you know how to handle any potential emergency.
By Brooke Chaplan
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most of her time hiking, biking, and gardening. For more information, contact Brooke via Facebook at facebook.com/brooke.chaplan or Twitter @BrookeChaplan