As a parent, looking after your little ones is your top priority. You keep them fed, clothed, happy and help them reach the next vital stage of their development. Another area that all parents focus on, is safety. Baby-proofing your home means bubble wrapping the edges of your kitchen counter, keeping pan handles out of reach, and putting baby-gates anywhere and everywhere.

But did you know that the biggest dangers in your home, could be in their toybox? Toys can be dangerous. Even if you’ve selected age-appropriate ones, sometimes defective toys can make their way onto the market and be placed directly into the hands of our innocent children. Speak to a personal injury lawyer as soon as possible if you or your child has been hurt by a defective product.

It’s for this reason that parents like you and me, need to be hyper-vigilant and wary of the toys we’re bringing hope for our little ones. Read for a parents’ guide to buying safe toys for your kids.

Always check for product recalls

Sometimes toys can be recalled as a precaution so further tests can be carried out. The best way to avoid a potential accident in your home is by keeping up to date with the latest toy recalls. You can do this by checking the manufacturer’s website frequently, or keeping an eye out in your local store for recall notices.

Be wary of potential hazards

We all know that little ones like to put things in their mouths. It’s how they explore their world. However, when you’re buying toys you need to keep this in mind. Avoid anything that could be placed in the mouth and potentially choked on. This doesn’t just apply to babies, even preschoolers and elementary age children can place small game pieces in their mouths, fool around with marbles or just mess around.

If you’re going to buy soft toys, make sure that the eyes and noses are sewn on properly. If a toy has a pull string or a pull along feature, make sure it’s not long enough for it to get wrapped around your child’s neck.

Be sensible with batteries

Kids’ toys go through batteries like there’s no tomorrow, which means you need to be super careful when changing them or purchasing them. Always ensure that they’re kept out of reach and always replace the plastic cover on the back of the toy so they can’t fall out and be picked up by younger children. Button sized batteries are particularly dangerous and if ingested, can cause death.

Be cautious with ride-on toys

Bikes, scooters and trikes etc should only be ridden when you’re supervising, and your child should always wear appropriate safety gear. Little ones should only ride these toys away from traffic.

And finally, read the label

The best way to know if a particular toy is right for your little one is by reading the label. Check the materials listed, the recommended age range, and if appropriate always check the instructions on how the game/toy should be played with correctly.