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Avoiding Toy Hazards: How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Baby

Avoiding Toy Hazards: How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Baby

Playing with toys is a part of every child’s life, but did you know that toys can also pose a hazard to your baby’s safety? According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, toy-related injuries sent more than 251,700 kids to emergency rooms in 2017. As parents, it is our responsibility to make sure the toys our little ones play with are safe and appropriate for their age. In this article, we will discuss some tips to help you choose the right toys for your baby.

Consider Age and Developmental Level

When choosing toys for your baby, their age and developmental level should be your top priority. All toys come with age recommendations, which you must follow strictly. Age ranges are put in place based on the toy’s design, materials used, and choking hazards. If you have a newborn, don’t give them toys that have small parts or components that can be easily pulled off. Always make sure that the toys you choose are appropriate for your child’s developmental level.

Check the Label

The age and safety recommendations for each toy are typically listed on the label. Spend time reading the labels on the toys that you choose, and make sure that they are compliant with appropriate safety standards. Items that have been tested and approved by credible organizations, such as the Consumer Product Safety Commission, are safe options for your baby.

Inspect the Toy

Before buying a toy, take a look at it from all angles, and thoroughly inspect all its parts. A well-made toy should not have any sharp edges or corners, and the materials used must be free of toxic chemicals such as lead. Additionally, make sure that the components of the toy cannot be easily removed, as they are potential choking hazards.

Avoid Toys with Cords or Strings

Cords and strings that are longer than 7 inches pose a strangulation hazard to children under three years of age. If you must buy a toy with a cord or string, make sure it is short and not loose or easily detachable.

Consider Appropriate Size

Small toys, especially those with detachable parts, are choking hazards for babies. Make sure that the toys you buy have large parts that cannot easily fit into your baby’s mouth. As a rule of thumb, if the toy component can pass through a toilet paper roll, it is too small for babies.

Be Mindful of Battery-Operated Toys

Battery-operated toys often contain button batteries, which are small and can be easily swallowed. Ensure that the battery compartments are secure and can only be opened with a screwdriver. The button battery replacement should be done by an adult always.

Avoid Secondhand and Hand-Me-Down Toys

Used toys may have wear and tear or damage that can be dangerous for your baby. If you purchase used toys, make sure it is in good condition and comply with all current safety standards.

Final Thoughts

It is essential to choose the right toys for your baby to prevent accidents and injuries while playing. Remember to opt for age-appropriate toys, carefully check the labels, inspect the toys, and be mindful of any hazards. Always keep your baby’s safety as a top priority as you choose the right toys for them.

Avoiding Toy Hazards: How to Choose the Right Toys for Your Baby FAQ

Q: What are the most common hazards associated with baby toys?

A: The most common toy hazards for babies include choking hazards, toxic materials, sharp edges, and loud noises.

Q: How can I ensure that the toys I buy for my baby are safe?

A: Look for toys that are age-appropriate and have passed safety tests. Always read the labels and warnings before purchasing a toy and inspect it thoroughly for potential hazards before giving it to your baby.

Q: How do I know if a toy is age-appropriate for my baby?

A: The age recommendation for a toy is usually based on safety and developmental appropriateness. Make sure to read the label and choose toys that are designed for your baby’s age range.

Q: What should I look for when inspecting a toy for potential hazards?

A: Look for loose or small parts that can be easily swallowed, sharp edges or points, flimsy construction, or toxic materials. Also, check that the toy does not make excessive noise or have any potential strangulation hazards, such as cords or strings.

Q: Are secondhand toys safe for my baby?

A: Secondhand toys can be safe if they have been well-maintained and are still in good condition. However, be sure to inspect them thoroughly for potential hazards and make sure they meet current safety standards before giving them to your baby.

Q: Can toys made of plastic be dangerous for my baby?

A: Yes, some plastics can be toxic and harmful to babies. Look for toys that are made of non-toxic materials and avoid toys that contain chemicals like BPA or phthalates.

Q: Should I avoid buying noisy toys for my baby?

A: Yes, excessively loud toys can damage a baby’s hearing. Look for toys that have adjustable volume levels or noisemakers that are not too loud.

Q: Can stuffed animals be dangerous for my baby?

A: Stuffed animals can pose a suffocation hazard if their fur or stuffing becomes loose. Choose stuffed animals that are well-made and have no loose pieces that can come off and be swallowed.

Q: What are some safe and appropriate toy options for my baby?

A: Safe toy options for babies include soft toys, wooden toys, board books, stacking blocks, and toys that encourage sensory exploration like rattles or teething rings.

Q: What should I do if I suspect a toy is unsafe for my baby?

A: Stop using the toy immediately and contact the manufacturer for more information. If you suspect the toy is a hazard, report it to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Q: How often should I inspect my baby’s toys for potential hazards?

A: You should inspect your baby’s toys regularly, especially after they have been played with or have been taken out of storage. Always check for loose or broken parts, sharp edges, and hazardous materials.

Q: Is it okay for my baby to play with electronic toys?

A: Electronic toys can be safe for babies as long as they are designed appropriately and meet current safety standards. Look for toys that have been tested for safety and always supervise your baby’s playtime with electronic toys.

Q: How can I teach my baby to play safely with their toys?

A: Always supervise your baby’s playtime and teach them how to play with their toys safely. Encourage them to explore their toys in a safe and appropriate way and teach them to put their toys away when they are finished playing.

Related Products for Toy Safety for Babies

  • Soft Toy Set: A set of soft toys made from non-toxic materials that can be washed easily. These toys are safe for babies as they cannot be choked on and won’t harm little mouths if chewed on. Choose toys that are free of any small parts that can be pulled off.
  • Bath Toys: Bath time can be fun for both parents and their babies. However, it’s crucial to ensure that bath toys are safe for babies as they are regularly put in their mouths. Look for toys that do not have any small parts that can be easily broken off or swallowed.
  • Pacifiers: Pacifiers are great for babies because they can help soothe them. It’s important to choose a pacifier that is safe, and free of BPA and other harsh chemicals that can be dangerous for little ones. Also, make sure to choose a pacifier with a sturdy handle for easy removal.
  • Activity Gym: Activity gyms are perfect for babies as they provide a safe and stimulating environment that can help them learn and grow. Choose an activity gym that is made from non-toxic materials and has no small parts that can be easily swallowed or broken off.
  • Baby Books: Reading is an essential part of a baby’s development. Reading to your baby can help stimulate their brain and improve their language skills. Choose books with brightly colored pictures and learning activities that are safe for babies to explore and handle.
  • Baby Monitor: A baby monitor is an essential product for parents as it helps them keep an eye on their little one when they are not in the same room. Choose a baby monitor that has a secure connection and is easy to use. Also, ensure that the monitor is safe for babies and does not have any small parts that can harm them.
  • Baby Carrier: A baby carrier can help parents bond with their baby while keeping them safe and comfortable. Choose a carrier that is made from non-toxic materials and has no small parts that can be easily pulled off or swallowed. Also, make sure to choose a carrier that provides adequate support for your baby’s head and neck.
  • Baby Swing: A baby swing is the perfect product to soothe a fussy baby. It’s essential to choose a swing that is safe for babies and has no small parts that can be easily broken off or swallowed. Make sure to choose a swing that is sturdy and has a comfortable seat for your baby.
  • Baby Bath Tub: A baby bath tub is essential for bath time. Choose a bath tub that is safe for babies and has no small parts that can be easily broken off or swallowed. Also, make sure the bath tub has a non-slip surface to prevent any accidents.
  • Baby Play Mat: A baby play mat is perfect for little ones as it provides a safe and comfortable space for them to play and explore. Choose a play mat that is made from non-toxic materials and has no small parts that can be easily swallowed. Also, ensure that the mat is easy to clean and maintain.

Pros & Cons of Choosing Right Toys for Your Baby


  • Improves Cognitive Development: Choosing the right toys play an important role in baby’s intellectual development. The toys that help babies to learn color, shapes, letters, and numbers can boost their cognitive skills.
  • Enhances Physical Development: Toys that encourage physical activity like push cars, balls, and building blocks can assist in developing the baby’s motor skills, hand-eye coordination and overall muscle strength.
  • Stimulates Creativity: Toys that promote creativity such as dress-up clothes, toys that allow free play, and craft supplies can help in boosting imagination and creativity in children, which is essential in their development.
  • Builds Social Skills: Toys that encourage social skill-building such as puppets, board games, and play food can help children develop interpersonal skills like sharing, communication, negotiation, and problem-solving abilities.
  • Safe Playtime: Choosing the right toys can ensure that your baby is playing with safe and hazard-free playthings, which can promote a healthy and safe environment for playtime.


  • Costly: High-quality toys can be expensive and some parents might find it difficult to invest in them even though they are necessary for their child’s development.
  • Too Many Options: With so many options available in the market, it can be difficult to determine the appropriate toys for your baby, leading to confusion and indecisiveness.
  • Age-Appropriate: Choosing toys that may be too advanced or too simple for your baby’s development stage can cause irritation and loss of interest in the toy.
  • Space Restriction: Some toys can be bulky and require a lot of space, making it difficult for families who live in small living spaces or apartments.
  • Safety Hazards: Toys that are not age-appropriate or have small parts and sharp edges can pose safety risks and other hazards to your baby.

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