Playtime should be an opportunity for fun and learning. When choosing toys for your kids, do you prioritise education or entertainment? Do you think both are important? While mums and dads might have different opinions, one thing’s for sure: we can all agree that toys should be age appropriate and we should always be on the lookout for potentially dangerous toys for kids.
Of course, toy companies go out of their way to make sure their products are safe for consumers. But accidents can happen! What’s more, old, hand-me-down toys could also become possible hazards.
Ahead, we’ve put together a list of dangerous toys for kids to avoid. Let’s make playtime a fun, educational, and safe experience for your little one.
8 Dangerous toys for kids mums and dads should avoid
1. Toys with ribbons and strings
In the US back in 2016, there were over 174,000 toy-related injuries to kids under the age of 15.
One of the most common injuries were choking and suffocation caused by toys with strings. In Canada, latex balloons were the top non-food related cause of choking in children.
So mums, be extra careful. What may look like a cute and harmless stuffed toy could have loose ribbons or strings that can potentially cause strangulation.
2. Toys with sharp points and edges
Toys that easily break, like glass or plastic-based toys, fall under this category. Poorly constructed wooden and metal toys can also have sharp edges that could injure a child.
A good example would be toy dinosaurs with sharp body parts like pointy tails or arms. Old dolls whose pins or accessories have become dislodged could also puncture an unwitting child.
Inspect all toys, old and new, frequently for any loose parts, and if you notice anything amiss, it’s time to get rid of that toy.
3. Toys with small parts
While most toys come with warning labels against choking hazards, mums and dads should still be careful. Even age-appropriate toys can have detachable parts that could easily get stuck in a child’s nose, ears, or throat.
Think BIG when it comes to toys for those aged four and below. Anything smaller or the same size as a child’s mouth could be a choking hazard.
4. Toys that make loud noises
They might not be choking hazards, but these toys pose dangers to your child’s hearing. Make sure to test toys to know if they are within the safe noise level for kids.
Remember: your little one’s auditory system is still developing. So they can be more sensitive to loud noises than you are. Plus, toys like toy cap pistols could even rupture eardrums! Scary, right? Not to mention, they introduce your child to the concept of violent weapons early on.
5. Toys that children ride on or jump on
For younger kids, ride-on toys are usually not recommended. A prime example would be ride-on scooters. Young kids don’t really have much coordination yet, so giving them ride-on toys to play with increases the risk of injury. Trampolines are also notorious for causing injuries.
If you do decide to let them have fun on scooters or trampolines, make sure you keep an eye on them. Better yet, hold on to them as they play.
6. Toys with projectiles
While bow and arrows, darts, and toys that fly are super fun for kids, they can be dangerous toys for kids! Imagine what could happen if an arrow lands in a child’s eye.
If your child insists on being the next Merida of Brave or Hawkeye of the Avengers, then a good compromise would be to give them arrows that have rubber suction tips.
7. Toys with magnets
According to Health Canada, magnets become especially dangerous if a child swallows more than one. One magnet can attract another magnet. As they travel through a child’s digestive system, they can tear the intestine’s walls. What’s worse, they can go as far as “twisting the intestines to cause a blockage.”
Make sure to rid your child’s home of powerful magnets, or loose ones in their toys. Remember that magnetic toy pieces are also dangerous. Warn your child about the dangers of putting magnets in their mouths.
8. Toys with small batteries
In January 2018, a doctor’s tweet about the dangers of disc batteries went viral — and with good reason. In the United States alone, 2,800 children are rushed to the hospital because of accidentally swallowing button batteries.
Back in 2016, a toddler swallowed a button battery by accident and it burned a hole in her lung. There is no doubt that toys with button batteries are some of the most dangerous for kids.
In case of choking, strangulation or any toy-related injuries in Singapore, you can call 995 or the following ambulance services:
Non-Emergency Ambulance 1777
Ame 6247 7080
Blesswell 6273 0147
Econ 6382 8888
ER 6222 2995
Green Crescent 6788 8911
Heng Gref 6788 8911
Civic Ambulance 6333 3000
Talk to your child’s paediatrician to know about proper first aid procedures, such as the Heimlich Maneuver, in case of emergency.