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The Essential Guide To Baby Toys

Feb 25, 2008
Keeping your baby safe is one of the greatest concerns of any new parent. The numerous newspaper headlines of babies being rushed off to hospital after being involved in accidents involving toys does not help new parent's confidence. What new parents have got to do is take care when they buy their new baby toys and be careful how they treat them in the house.

They are now greatly aided by new EU regulations that have placed rigid rules on toy manufactures. This has resulted in the actual safety of the toy itself greatly improving and now moving the emphasis on toy use safety back onto the parent. A new parent's major concern over baby toy safety should be focused on the suitability of the toy for the baby.

New regulations clearly state on each toy what age range the toy is suitable for. The danger now lies in the parent providing a toy that is unsuitable for their age range. A good example of this is when the baby has an elder sibling and has access to their toys that are inadvertently left lying around.

When buying new baby toys all new parents should check that the item has a CE mark or Lion Mark. If the product carries one of these marks the parent can have the assurance that the toys are manufactured in line with a strict set of criteria's. Parents must be cautious of toys that do not carry these marks. They should assume that they are totally unsuitable and as such are not safe for the baby. A good example of such items is usually cheap toys available at market stalls or prizes at fair grounds.

The new parents should also check carefully the quality of the toy. Be especially vigilant when looking for small parts that might easily become detached. This is especially important if the baby is under three years of age. The danger lies in the baby trying to swallow the loose bits which may result in them chocking to death.

It is widely accepted that you should never give a baby under the age of three any toys that are less than 35mm. Again if swallowed these may again result in the baby chocking. Other things to watch out for are balloons. Many parents make the mistake of allowing their babies to play with balloons without any thought for the consequences of the balloon bursting and the baby then swallowing it.

Parents should also be vigilant of grandparents wheeling out their old favourite toys. One of the classic examples of this is the game of marbles. Years ago marbles were popular for young children before people became aware of their potential dangers. Many grandparents still have their old marble sets and allow babies to play with them without realising the potentially fatal consequences.

Other areas that should be watched out for are toys with ribbons attached as again the baby may chew on it and choke. Also try to avoid allowing babies access to toys with magnetic parts and regularly check that the toys are in good condition. Basically use good common sense and good housekeeping techniques.

A good source of advice and common sense is other parents. They will have already gone through the learning curve that you are about to experience and most will readily share their experiences and advice with you. Also remember that the toy is for the baby and not for you. Many new dads make the mistake of buying a toy that they would like and not what is suitable for the baby.
About the Author
Andrew Gibson is MD of The Card and Gift Company. It is one of the fastest growing online retailers of birthday cards. To see an example of why The Card and Gift Company is growing so rapidly have a look at Baby Gifts
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