Choosing the Right Toy
In June 2011, the Australian Toy Association issued a warning on the dangers of buying toys online. This was in response to the tragic accident that occurred where a 3 year old child in NSW swallowed magnets that had fallen off a toy that had been purchased on ebay.
“This is one of the dangers associated with internet and online shopping. Toys bought online from overseas don’t necessarily comply with Australian product laws or safety warning requirements and can pose a serious threat to safety. If parents or grandparents have any doubt at all, they should go online to http://www.productsafety.gov.au/ or contact the ATA on 03-9320 2600 where we will be able to advise them”.
10 Things You Should Know Before Buying a Toy:
- Check for sharp edges or rough surfaces as they can cause cuts and splinters.
- Buy washable, non breakable toys for babies.
- Anything small enough to fit into a 35mm film canister can choke a child under 3.
- Toy chests and boxes should be designed not to close on top of children, or better still have a removable lid. Anything big enough to crawl inside must have ventilation holes.
- Read and heed the age labelling on new toys. "Not suitable for children aged under 3" means that there are small parts which could be swallowed; it is not an indication of skill level or intelligence.
- Check toys regularly for loose parts which may be choking dangers.
- Check that there are no gaps or holes which could entrap a child's fingers.
- Be wary of toys that make loud noises as they can be harmful to hearing. Particularly toys which are held against the ear, such as walkie talkies and toy mobile phones.
- Check for ventilation before buying tents, masks, helmets etc.
- Ensure that ride-on toys are stable, appropriate to the age of the child and will not overbalance. Toy bikes should have effective brakes which can be applied by the rider.