We all know how it is – your little one locks eyes with a toy that they see in a store or being sold in a marketplace and you know they’re not going to let you leave unless you buy it for them. You may think that spending a couple of pounds isn’t bad to save having an argument, but how do you know that the toy you’ve just purchased is safe?
Don’t get us wrong, the majority are, especially if you’re buying from a reputable store but so that you know what to look out for when purchasing a toy for your child, follow our safety tips.
Check for markings
CE symbol: the CE marking on a toy is an indicator that the toy is intended to be sold within Europe. It doesn’t explicitly mean that the toy is safe to buy, but does indicate that the toy conforms to a list of essential safety regulations. Toys without the CE mark might not have been designed to be used as a toy and may be unsuitable for children.
Lion mark: the image of a lion is a voluntary mark by the British Toy and Hobby Association. The mark is used by members of the association and indicates that the toys meet statutory safety requirements.
Age mark: check whether the toy has an age certification on it, some will come with a marker indicating that they’re unsuitable for children under the age of 3 – so look out for this!
• Always buy toys from a recognised store or website – toys sold on a market stall or in the middle of a town centre may seem like a bargain but you can’t guarantee they’ve been through the necessary safety checks. They can also be harder to return if you do find that the toy is hazardous.
• Only buy toys suitable for your child’s age. These indicators are there for a reason so take note of them. This is particularly relevant if you have younger children, as they can be more vulnerable to choking.
• Steer clear of toys that have loose, small parts and sharp edges or points.
• Make sure that batteries in toys are installed properly. Mercury batteries can be particularly dangerous to children when swallowed, so either opt for toys without these batteries or make sure that the battery opening is closed shut.
• Don’t let your child take a battery operated toy to bed, if the batteries leak or overheat they can burn or injure your child.
• Throw away toy packaging such as plastic, Styrofoam or cellophane.
• Take away any mobiles strung across cots or playpens as soon as your baby can push up with their hands and knees.
• Check over your child’s toys regularly, throwing away any ones that are falling apart.
We’re not saying all of this to worry you – being a parent comes with enough of that! However, if you know what to look out for when you’re purchasing a toy, this can help you to keep them safe – especially when searching for budget-friendly toy options.