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How safe are your kid’s toys?

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Toys are essential in a little human’s life. It’s not just for recreational purpose, but also for learning and development, says Pediatrician and online concierge doctor for little humans, Zainab A. Yaro, also known as Dr. Mims.

However, they can easily become weapons if not used appropriately. Here are a few tips according to Dr. Yaro to keep in mind before purchasing or letting your child play with that toy.

Avoid toys with small magnets. They are often used in toys, and they may fall out and be swallowed by a child. Two or more swallowed magnets (or a magnet and a metal object) can be attracted to each other through intestinal walls, twisting and pinching the intestines and causing holes, blockages, infection, or worse if not discovered and treated promptly.

Pick age appropriate toys. Most toys have a recommended age sticker, which is a good starting point for making your choice. Be realistic about your little human’s abilities and maturity when choosing an age-appropriate toy.

Choose well-made toys. Used toys passed down from older siblings or bought second hand can be worn or frayed, which sometimes means dangerous. Check all toys – new or used – for corroded batteries, loose bits (like yarn, ribbons, eyes and beads), and plastic parts that could easily be snapped or chewed off.

Think big. Until your little human turns three, toy parts should be bigger than her mouth to prevent the possibility of choking. To determine whether a toy poses a choking risk, try fitting it through a toilet paper roll. If a toy or part of a toy can fit inside the cylinder, it is not safe

Make sure your little human is physically ready. Parents of older kids may buy a bike one size too big, so they don’t have to buy another new bike the next year after their child outgrows the first one. This tactic can lead to serious injury if a little human does not have the physical skills to control the bigger bike.

Don’t purchase heavy toys. Ask yourself if your little human could be harmed if it fell on her, if your answer is in the positive, then don’t purchase such toy. Don’t pick toys with string or cord attached.: it is too easy for a cord to accidentally get wrapped around a young child’s neck, causing strangulation.

Beware of hidden toxins. Even when you find a toy that seems safe, make sure it is not made with potentially harmful chemicals. Phthalates or plasticizers are used to make plastic more flexible and durable, and these chemicals are found in many toys. Also check for chemicals like mercury, lead and arsenic.

Remove polythene film and keep batteries out of reach. Before giving your child a new toy, make sure there’s no polythene wrap on the box or toy. Also, small round button batteries are found in musical greeting cards, toys, wireless game controls and remote controls and they are extremely hazardous to children. If swallowed, a button battery can cause dangerous chemical burns in as little as two hours. Most importantly, Dr. Yaro advised that toys should be stored safely to avoid major accidents or even death.


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