Take care and don't assume that, just because you can buy something, it must be safe.
Which toys are suitable for my child?
But even so, it’s best to stick to the age advice on toy packaging. If a baby plays with a toy that has small parts or long fur, they might choke or swallow bits of the toy. Marbles and magnets can also be choked on or swallowed, and magnets are particularly dangerous as they can cause serious problems if swallowed. Toy manufacturers know what is safe and what isn’t so it’s best to follow their age guides.
teaches children good habits, but be careful if older children are sharing their toys. What’s safe for a 7 year old might not be safe for a toddler.
can certainly save money but you do need to take extra care. Look for toys that are in good condition and come with their original instructions. Using a toy library can be a safer option - go online and find out if there is one in your area.
can still be fun, if you’re there to play with your child. Toys like baking kits, baby bath toys or chemistry sets will help your children learn, but you’ll need to be there to make sure your child doesn’t get hurt.
How can I keep my child’s toys safe?
can be a real hassle, especially with very young children. But encouraging your child to put toys away helps to keep your home safe. As one of the main risks to children is tripping or falling over toys, putting them away in a toy box can save tears. Tidying up things like balloons is especially important – burst balloons are a choking hazard for young children.
can seem wasteful, but if a toy is broken or damaged, it’s better to throw it away than give it to a charity shop or jumble sale. The broken toy could go on to cause accidents for other children. If you do pass toys on when your child has finished with them, remember to include the instructions if you have them.
have usually passed rigorous safety tests. But as the batteries wear out, try to avoid mixing old and new batteries - the older batteries could overheat in the toy.
Batteries in children’s toys are covered by safety regulationsshould be enclosed by a screw and secure . But remember that older children may still be able to open secure battery compartments.
Toys bought online or from markets, discount stores or temporary shops may not follow the appropriate safety regulations. For example, trading standards officers have issued warnings about light-up fidget spinners where the battery is easily accessible to children.
Top tips for individual toys
are all very cute. But they’re best out of your baby’s cot. The Lullaby Trust’s advice is that ‘the safest cot is a clear cot’. This reduces the risk of head-covering and other accidents.
such as cap guns can damage hearing. Never allow children to hold them near their own or anyone else's ears.
can be powerful enough to damage central vision if shone into a child's eye. There's no way of knowing how strong a laser pointer is, so keep them away from children. should not be used near overhead power lines. If a kite gets caught, the electricity can travel down the cord and cause serious injury.
should be placed on soft, energy-absorbing ground and should not be shared by adults and children or by children of different weights. Try to buy one that comes with a safety enclosure to reduce the risk of falls and follow the manufacturer's guidelines.
must be emptied after use and put away, or turned upside down so they do not collect rain water. Babies can drown in as little as 5cm (2") of water - this depth can easily collect in an empty paddling pool left out in the rain. such as swings or climbing frames should not easily tip over. Use them over soft grass or soil (you should be able to push a screwdriver in). Make sure there are no hard edges, spikes or glass where children might fall. Regularly check fastenings, ropes. etc. for looseness and wear.