Published: Wednesday 16 August 2017
Every child’s home, nursery or other childcare setting inevitably features toys and rightly so! Whilst most children will spend their childhood playing safely, toys can sometimes cause accidents. Here we look at how to prevent those accidents, including RoSPA’s top 10 toy safety tips. If you'd like to learn how to respond in a first aid emergency, join us on our Baby and Child First Aid course or, if you're a childcare professional, Paediatric First Aid course.
Of course, it is essential that the toys you buy or play with meet legal requirements, but accidents can still happen if, for example, toys for older children are given to younger ones, or a toy is a trip hazard.
All specifically-designed toys are subject to legal requirements so, for example, they don’t have small parts that can break off or are easily flammable. However, items such as Christmas decorations or adult’s novelty items are not covered by such legislation, so be aware if these are present in your environment.
All toys must show a European Community CE symbol. The British Toy and Hobby Association also run a voluntary Lion Mark scheme which many manufacturers have signed up to. You can see both these symbols here.
You will probably also be familiar with the logo that indicates that a toy is unsafe for a child under the age of three. If you need to remind yourself of this logo, check it out here. Quite often these toys will have smaller parts that present a choking hazard. You can read our blog post on preventing and dealing with choking incidents.
As toys get played with, and worn, they may become potentially dangerous; some loose stuffing or a cracked piece of plastic can be harmful. Either throw them away or get them properly repaired.
Ironically, may accidents involving toys are trips and falls, so keep toys tidy and away from the top of stair cases.
A few weeks ago we looked at the hazards of button batteries, which can often be found in toys. Take a look at our advice here if you missed it.
Finally, take a look at RoSPA’s top ten toy safety tips and commit to memory!
- Buy toys only from recognised outlets;
- Make sure the toy is suitable for the child, check the age range;
- Be particularly careful with toys for children under three;
- Be wary of young children playing with older children's toys;
- Check for loose hair and small parts, sharp edges and points;
- Ensure that garden swings and slides are robust and are not a strangulation hazard;
- Check toys regularly for wear and repair or dispose of them where necessary;
- Keep the play area tidy;
- Follow the instructions and warnings provided with toys;
- Supervise young children at play.
Our Baby and Child First Aid course is great for parents, carers, grandparents or other family members looking to gain the skills and knowledge to deal with accident prevention and treatment. Alternatively, if you're a nanny, childminder, nursery staff or other childcare professional, our Paediatric First Aid course serves as a great introduction or refresher course.
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