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Resource Center

Many toys are available on the market and hundreds if not thousands hit the store each year for sale.  The basic premise of toys is that they are suppose to be fun and are an important part of your child's development.  However each year may kids are treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy related injuries.  Chocking is at an increased risk for kids 0-3 years of age because they tend to put objects/toys in their mouths. 

Manufacturers of toys these days follow certain guidelines and label most new toys based on specific age group the toy is appropriate to.

Here are some other guidelines to follow:


  • Stuffed toys should be washable.
  • Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
  • Art materials should say nontoxic.
  • Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant.
  • Crayons and paint should sat ASTM D-4236 on the package, which means that they've been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.


Age Appropriate toys - Choosing age appropriate toys for your children is critical for their development and safety.  Always read labels to assure a toy is appropriate for a child's age.  Children enjoy toys that they can master and that are right for their particular stage of development. 


Toys for newborns - Infants are fascinated with movement, sounds, and simple black and white visuals.  They are working on eye-hand coordination, discovering their own bodies, grasping, and reaching.  Age appropriate toys for newborns include: mobiles, unbreakable mirror, sensory toys, soft books, bath toys, & busy boxes.


Toys for 3-6 month olds - Babies discover how much fun his/her hands can be now that they are no longer clenched in a fist.  Age appropriate toys include: Activity center, soft stuffed animals, squeaky rubber toys, colorful teething rings, activity quilts and playmats, board books, & lightweight rattle.


Toys for 6-8 month olds - Babies can now hold small toys.  They learn about cause and effect and they will repeat activities in order to master them.  Age appropriate toys include: Cloth or board books, busy board, soft dolls or stuffed animals, balls, soft blocks, and moving toys.


Toys for 8-18 month olds - Babies begin to experiment with size, shape, and space.  Age appropriate toys include: push/pull toys, blocks, nesting cups, rings on poles, shape sorters, simple take apart toys, toy telephone, balls, and pail and shovel.


Toys for 18-24 month olds - Toddlers begin to enjoy playing pretend.  Age appropriate toys include: dress-up clothing, dolls, kitchen sets, toy cars/trucks/school buses, large and small blocks, puzzles, illustrated books, balls, train sets, toy instruments, toys to play house with, and washable crayons and paper.


Toys for 2-4 year olds - Kids learn about socialization and continue to do a lot of pretend play.  Kids also are more assertive, increased desire for independence, expanded language skills, memory improving (i.e. stating what he/she had for breakfast at night before bed), and beginning to understand abstract concepts.  Age appropriate toys include: ride on toys, balls, art supplies, percussive instruments, dress up clothes, construction toys, puzzles, miniature house and/or farms sets, large crayons, finger paints, play-Doh, large Legos, blocks, hammer-and-peg toys, drums, hammer-and-peg toys, kid size dishes, pots, pans, and outdoor equipment/toys (i.e. plastic balls, plastic bats, miniature basketball and hoops, soccer balls), and books.



References:

For more information on age appropriate toys you can visit:

http://www.parents.com/fun/toys/baby-toys/your-guide-to-age-appropriate-toys/


For more information for choosing safe toys you can visit: 

http://www.kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/home/safe_toys.html


For more information of toy recalls you can visit:

http://www.safekids.org/product-recalls/