Music and Your Child
Kids and Toys
Choose toys carefully, with safety and suitability in mind. Toys should be suited to the child's abilities and interests -- children usually lose interest in toys that are meant for a younger age group. Similarly, toys belonging to older siblings may be intriguing, but potentially dangerous to a younger one. Read the instructions that come with the toy, and teach children to use the toy properly.
TOYS SHOULD BE:
- Well made and sturdy, so that they can take a lot of punishment, like being banged about or chewed.
- Non-toxic -- children put just about everything into their mouths.
- Free from sharp edges or broken pieces that can come off and cause choking.
- Flame resistant.
GENERAL TOY SAFETY TIPS
- Balloons should only be used as decorations, not toys; they can be swallowed by accident if popped or deflated. Young children could choke on or be suffocated by an uninflated balloon or piece of a broken balloon.
- Never attach a string to a toy or pacifier.
- Store toys away when not in use; have a special place for them, and make "Let's tidy up" into a pleasant game. Toys littering the floor or stairs can be the cause of accidents.
- Make sure that the toy chest lid is very lightweight and has air holes; if does not, remove it -- a bang on the head can be very painful and dangerous. A lid without air holes that slams shut could cause suffocation.
- Toy boxes should have air holes.
- When removing a toy or an item of clothing from its plastic wrapper, discard the plastic immediately.
- Inspect your child's toys daily for loose parts that can be pulled off or chewed (i.e., buttons, long wool, jewels, beads, "eyes"); either safely repair the toy, remove the unsecured parts, save the toy for when your child is older, or else discard it.
- Don't leave any toys in the baby's crib; large, stuffed toys can smother a small child, while smaller ones could become entangled in clothing, and cause suffocation; a large toy can also be used as a "leg-up" out of the crib, by an older child who has learned to walk.
- Teach your children that many things are NOT toys, however attractive or tempting, i.e., money, buttons, beads, cotton balls, peas, nuts, candies, plastic bags, hair pins, Xmas tree ornaments, ashtrays, stuff on the kitchen table, knickknacks.
- Mobiles are not toys, and should be kept completely out of reach of children.
WE DO NOT RECOMMEND THE USE OF WALKERS; they do not promote walking, and can be dangerous, especially around stairs, fireplaces, and in the kitchen. Accidental falls down stairs in walkers account for the largest number of head injuries in children under two years of age; hundreds of children have fallen down stairs in walkers, and many have died from these falls. If you do wish to use a walker, don't take your eyes off your child for a second -- he'll be going faster than you thought possible, and as likely as not, into a potentially life-threatening situation.
- The walker should not be able to pass through a door opening 81 cm wide (32 inches).
- The seat should be equipped with a lap belt.
- The walker should have a very wide base, to prevent tipping when your baby reaches out to grab something tempting.
- It must be sturdily constructed so it does not collapse under the weight of your child.
- NEVER leave your child unattended in a walker.
- Block off stairways and other dangerous areas -- children in walkers get around faster than they would at their own speed.
- Don't assume a baby can't open a closed door while in a walker.
- Block off stoves, radiators, heaters and fireplaces, and put away potentially harmful items. Remember that a child in a walker has a different eye-view of the world; objects like cords from plugged-in irons and lamps are easily accessible.
- Never use a walker for a child who cannot yet sit up without help, or for one who is able to walk unaided.
- Check that floors are level and free from objects that a walker could tip on.
- We strongly believe that the best thing you can do with a walker is to remove the wheels and use it as a chair.