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The Dangers Of Buttons And Beans

May 17, 2008
If you go in to any toy store today, the chances are very high that every toy that is stocked complies with all current legal requirements for safety. There are, however, places where toys that do not meet this criteria are sold, and especially if you are purchasing toys from abroad, you need to be careful because laws in different countries will vary, as will standards. If buying over the internet you have to be especially careful in this regard.

However, what is just as important as checking that toys meet current safety standards is to think about the age requirements and suitability, as it is quite possible to purchase a toy which meets with all current legal safety standards, but which is aimed at children older than yours. Since children develop so very quickly during their early years, a matter of months can make a good deal of difference when looking at toys and how suitable they are. In some cases, toys are clearly not suited to younger children, but no age tag has been placed on it. It is important, therefore, that you take care when choosing toys for your own, and other people's children, and that when your child is given a toy by a doting relative or friend, you check out any potential issues with it straight away.

One of the most common problems are toys with small parts that could become a choking hazard. Small children, babies and toddlers especially, have smaller throats and windpipes, and this fact, coupled with their natural tendency to put things into their mouths represents a real danger. Small children begin to learn about the world around them by using their mouths much more that you'd imagine. Everything goes in the mouth for them to explore its texture, shape, size, taste and other attributes - it's a natural learning process. Teddy bears and other stuffed toys will be treated in the same way.

However, one thing which small children particularly enjoy is feeling the difference in textures from one part of a toy to another, and so button eyes on a teddy bear, for example, will be sucked and fiddled with much more than the rest of the toy. Although the buttons or eyes will seem to be fixed fairly well, the cotton thread holding them on will be subjected to a good deal of moisture and fiddling, and this will break down the fibres quite quickly, and lead to the button becoming dislodged. It is advisable to cut off any buttons or eyes from stuffed toys if being given to a small child to play. You can either choose only those toys with eyes and features drawn on, or sewn as patches of material, or replace the buttons and eyes with these yourself, or simply sew them back on when the child is older.

Similarly, many stuffed toys now have bean bag inserts in their bottoms or paws to help them sit up and be posable. Again, this represents a hazard as the toddler will be drawn to the feel of this unusual texture, and if the bag inside splits and the child gets a seam open, then they could easily choke on the beans. Remember, a child is often left alone for long periods of time at night, whilst surrounded by all these stuffed toys, and so it is very important to be very aware of these dangers, and take care to prepare the toys for safety, or remove them until the child is older.
About the Author
Victor Epand is an expert consultant about kids toys, dolls, and video games. You will find the best marketplace for kids toys, dolls, and used video games at these sites for kids toys, teddy bears, toy safety, dolls, and used video games.
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