Tag Archives: toys


When you place your child in day care, you do so under the assumption that they will be safe. You want to know that your child is free from any type of harm, including that from dangerous toys or accessories. You also want to make sure that the place is sanitary. Children touch everything, and viruses can spread quickly if their surroundings are not kept clean.

To ensure that your child remains safe while not in your care, parents should look for signs that their care provider is keeping up to the standards you expect. Some of these “signs” include: 

1. Look at the outdoor equipment. Does it look rugged and well worn? While it is to be expected that play items will be well-used, you need to know that your child care dollars are going for upkeep as well as payroll. If the equipment looks too used, chances are it is not safe.

2. Look at the toys inside. Do the toys seem age-appropriate for the children? Some toys can present choking hazards or have sharp edges. These are dangerous to very small children.

3. Look at the infant area. This is especially important since babies can easily be harmed and catch viruses. Does this area contain:

*Does the baby play yard have removable mats and fabric? You want your infant to be in a play yard that can easily be washed and cleaned. Is a top sanitary precaution.  

*Heavy objects? As infants start to grow, they begin to reach and pull themselves up. Large bookcases and other items of this nature can easily topple over on infants, causing great harm.

*Hand sanitizer? You want your care providers to have clean hands when they are interacting with your baby.

*Crib sheets. Are the cribs or bassinets being used look and smell clean? Do they have removable sheets? You do not want your baby sleeping in an area that cannot be easily cleaned.

*Stuffed animals or large blankets in sleeping areas. Babies should never be placed to sleep with a large comforter or stuffed animal. This can cause suffocation.
4. Children’s furniture. Do the tables and chairs appear to be the right size for the children? Are they well-worn and seem to be wobbly? Are they made of metal? All of these things could pose a risk to your child.

While this may seem a little overprotective, it is not. Day care centers are obligated to keep your child safe, and that includes making sure that the equipment that they use, toys they provide, and their cleanliness level all meet specific standards.

If you have any concerns about any of these issues, or other things that you may have noticed, you should take the time to talk with the center about the problems. In many cases, the problem can be quickly resolved. If not, you may find that you need to search for more qualified care providers for your child.

Researcher and author Nickey Williams writes this article to create child safety awareness. The washable baby play yard is part of the Shiloh by InGenuity collection. Fabrics simply zip off in less than a minute for machine washing and you can swiftly fold & go without extracting the bassinet, making this product extremely convenient. 




We all know that when someone tells you to drive safely, first thought is… don’t drink and drive or don’t text while driving, buckle up or watch the road. Common safety rules that we often disregard and take for granted. What does it really mean when you say “drive safely”?

1.       Don’t slow down.

Normally the precaution is for you not to go over-speeding. But the opposite is also recommended. Don’t slow down too much as you may stop the flow of traffic. Other cars are moving in a normal and average speed and they can’t wait for the “king of the road” to pass. Driving too slowly may frustrate drivers behind and around you. This can be another contributing factor in road deaths! Just slow down when you are in unfamiliar places and make sure to keep your hazards blinking on.

2.       Do not accept calls while driving.

Some drivers think that answering calls with the use of mouthpiece, earpiece or loud speaking are okay. However, the call will get his attention and he will focus less on what’s on the road. The brain tends to split thoughts so it’s always better to ignore calls and simply call back later. The phone would have the number of the caller anyway and it would indicate how many times the call is missed. If it’s really urgent, the concerned person on the other line would send an SMS you can read when the traffic light turns to red.

3.       Always put on the seat belt.

If it’s a short-distance driving, you may have the habit of not putting on your seat belt thinking that it won’t be of any good use. You may be lazy or sometimes forget this act for safety. Realize that most accidents happen to drivers who do not buckle up behind the steering wheel. The seat belt should claim its purpose and you should maximize whatever is designed in the car for function.

4.       Forget the toys.

Stuffed dolls, small figurines, pillows and toys are put for decorations in the car. These are girly stuff that most drivers have to please their passengers who consist mostly of their family members. Sorry to burst your bubble but these fluffy toys would not help you be safe in any way. In fact, they may even pose as danger when they block the driver’s view. Instead of placing them on the dashboard or at the back near the compartment area, leave them inside the house to avoid the risks of accidents.

5.       Never assume it’s best to overtake.

Overtaking in many cases is dangerous, especially if you are a novice driver in such a narrow road. Blind spots will always be there so it’s best to never take a wild guess and think that it’s okay to overtake when the side of the road looks clear. There might be a fast-moving car to sweep you by and this implies death or massive injuries at your end in a matter of seconds.


With all these safety tips, the best thing is to always make sure your car is properly serviced and maintained. Before getting inside the car, check the lights and the brakes and remove anything unnecessary that will cause distractions. It’s better that you’re safe than sorry.




 Submitted by Sonny Giffin of nannywebsites.com.
 This is an excellent quiz for parents, especially new parents, as well as caregivers and grandparents to take:

1.) What is the most common cause of non-fatal choking incidents among young children?

A)   Food
B)   Toys
C)   Household Items
D)   Office Supplies

2.) When serving hot dogs to young children, how should they be sliced to best prevent the possibility of choking?

A)   Sliced into “coins”
B)   Cut length-wise and then sliced into “half-moons”
C)   Shredded
D)   It doesn’t matter; hot dogs are soft enough that they don’t present a choking hazard

3.) You’re in a hurry and your toddler is still having lunch. How do you handle the situation?

A)   Rush him to finish so you can get on the road
B)   Leave him to eat while you get ready
C)   Give him the food to eat in the car on the way to your destination
D)   Make it known that you’re running late and wait for your child to finish eating at a relaxed, unhurried pace

4.) You’re at the park and a balloon vendor offers your child a helium balloon. Your child is entranced with it, so you make the purchase. How do you proceed?

A)   Treat it like any other toy, letting him take it to his room to play privately
B)   Play with the balloon together
C)   Supervise him as he plays, then take the balloon away when he’s lost interest
D)   Make a production of letting the balloon go together

5.) You want your child to have healthy eating habits, so you avoid candies and processed sugars in favor of fruit. Which of these fruits poses the greatest choking risk?

A)   Sliced apples
B)   Orange segments
C)   Whole grapes
D)   Sliced peaches

6.) When is it safe to introduce hard, smooth foods like peanuts and raw vegetables into a child’s diet?

A)   As soon as he has teeth
B)   When he’s mastered the motion of lifting food to his mouth himself
C)   By the age of two
D)   Four years of age or older

7.) Your toddler wants nothing more than to play in his older brother’s room, but there are toys that have small pieces and aren’t age-appropriate. What do you do?

A)   Let him play with his brother, trusting the older child to monitor the situation
B)   Insist that the door stay open while they play together
C)   Help your older child “baby-proof” his room, putting small pieces away
D)   Offer to play with your children so that your older child isn’t solely responsible for his little brother’s safety

8.) Your child is running through the house and playing, and wants a snack. What is the safest way to handle the situation?

A)   Give him a snack so that he continues to enjoy himself
B)   Tell him that he can only have a snack if he takes a break from playing to eat it
C)   Prepare the snack for him and watch him while he eats and plays
D)   Ignore his requests in hopes that he’ll become distracted

9.) You’re at the grocery store with your toddler when he spots a vending machine full of tiny toys. He desperately wants to buy one of these toys for himself; how do you handle the situation?

A)   Give him a quarter so he can buy the toy for himself without a second thought
B)   Redirect his attention to get away from the vending machine
C)   Let him buy the toy, under the condition that he will surrender it if it’s too small and unsafe
D)   Ignore his pleas and leave when he has a tantrum


1.) A. Food is the most common cause of non-fatal choking incidents among young children.
2.) B. Hot dogs are a common choking hazard, and are safest when served to children after being cut both length-wise and width-wise.
3.) D. A child who is feeling rushed to eat is more likely to choke because his chewing and swallowing skills are still developing.
4.) C. Balloons pieces are the leading non-food cause of choking incidents among children.
5.) C. Whole grapes are smooth and round and can easily slip into a child’s throat to obstruct his airways.
6.) D. Kids’ ability to chew in a grinding motion doesn’t develop properly until around four years of age.
7.) D. Your older child may not have the CPR skills or the emotional maturity to use them in an emergency choking situation, therefore he shouldn’t be completely responsible for keeping his younger sibling safe.
8.) B. Running, jumping and other physical activity can increase the likelihood of your child choking on the food he’s eating.
9.) B. The toys in a vending machine have to be small in order to fit through the mechanisms of the machine, and are not safe for young children.

How did you do? 100%?


One of the most important of Santa’s projects is making sure that all toys that little girls and boys receive are safe.  All of Santa’s helpers out there should be doing the same!  After all, not only is this his busiest time of the year; he has to check all his lists to see who has been naughty or nice!  

Inez Tenenbaum, Chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, has issued an important message regarding safe toys.  After 2007, the year of the recall, the voice of parents was clear.  Congress called for CPSC put into place new toy safety rules, which ensure that excessive amounts of toxic metals, like lead, stay out of children’s products.  Many toy makers heard parents, too, and have taken safety conscious steps to rebuild your trust in them.

CPSC announced that there this year there were four recalls of toys because of lead, and only three recalls from lead in the previous year.  So far, there have been a total of 34 toy recalls in 2011.  CPSC works with Customs and Border Protection to check the ports of our nation, and see that toy makers from around the world have removed the lead from their products.  CPSC also issued a new rule that requires periodic third-party testing and certification for toys and all children’s products designed or intended primarily for those 12 and younger. 

Now, while safety rests mainly with distributors, manufacturers, and CPSC, parents also play a key role.  New toys are safer than ever before; however deaths and injuries are still occurring with some products that have been around for a long time.  More than 181,000 children younger than 15 were treated in emergency rooms in 2010, most from accidents while riding a scooter.  

Here are suggestions from Chairman Tenenbaum, and Blog4Safety

  • Find all pieces of a popped balloon and throw them away immediately.
  • Keep all small magnets or toys with small magnets away from children under 6.
  • If children are riding scooters, skateboards, in-line skates, or riding toys, be sure they wear a helmet and stay away from traffic.
  • Most toys’ designs are suited for the appropriate ages.
  • Toys must be properly labeled.  Don’t assume that all toys are safe.
  • Be sure that soft, plush animals are washable and have secure eyes and noses that won’t come off.
  • Do not purchase BB or pellet guns for children under age 16.
  • Avoid toys with cords or long strings that could cause strangulation in small tots. 

Santa says, “Let’s play it safe with our toys this year!”   December is designated as Safe Toys and Gifts Month, by Prevent Blindness America.  We will be reminding you of many safety themes as the month of December progresses.

Source: USCPSC


December is the official “Safe Toys and Gifts Month.”  With Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa all crammed into this month, those families with children will be spending what they can afford to make the holiday special by granting the wishes of their little ones, but much thought needs to be put into choosing safe toys.  Santa wouldn’t ever want to bring anything unsafe to the children, but he’s getting down to the wire now, so he probably can’t do the proper research into this important topic! 

Prevent Blindness America and United States Consumer Product Safety Commission report that in 2005 (last available data), more than 200,000 toy-related injuries were reported, and almost 8,000 of them were eye injuries, which included lacerations, abrasions, and foreign bodies in the eyes.  Sports equipment and even art supplies can be harmful if not used properly.  The American Academy of Opthalmology estimates that there are 40,000 sports-related eye injuries altogether annually. 

When selecting toys for small children, choose ones that are both appropriate for the child’s age and level of maturity.  All toys should meet ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) standards.  These toys will bear the label of approval by ASTM.  One of the most common causes of toy-related death is choking.  From 2005-2007, thirty-three children aspirated or choked to death on balloons, toys, or toy parts.  If you are looking at a toy or toy part and it fits inside a toilet paper roll, don’t buy it.  Small toy testers can also be purchased at toy or baby specialty stores. 

Toys with straps, cords, or strings more than 7” long pose a strangulation risk for children under age 3.  Also, remove mobiles from the crib after a baby reaches 5 months of age, or can sit up, to avoid another strangulation hazard.  Toys with sharp edges or points are discouraged.  Keep older siblings’ toys out of the range of your little ones.  This is all common sense advice, and most parents are very conscientious about the safety of their toddlers.  There are just so many hazards lurking in our homes, it pays to be extra careful. 

Select toys that do not contain lead paint.  There are some toxic chemicals or lead in some bibs, vinyl lunchboxes, and jewelry.  Discard or don’t purchase cheap metal jewelry.   Some toys that are made of PVC (polyvinyl chloride) may contain toxic phthalates.  Most U.S. manufacturers of toys voluntarily stopped using PVC in their toys.  Another thing to think about: if a toy is too loud for you, it is too loud for your child.  Be sure you investigate how noisy it is before making that purchase.

For older kids, the right protective equipment, such as helmets, knee pads, elbow pads, or wrist guards should be purchased along with the type of sporting equipment you plan to buy them, such as bicycles, skateboards, and scooters.  Air guns and BB guns are not considered toys.  Even a cap gun with caps can be ignited by the slightest friction, causing serious burns. 

This is not meant to spread a cloud over the holidays.  It is to help Santa with his decisions in delivering to the children the best, safest toys ever!  We don’t you want to spend your time in the emergency room, because there’s just too much to do!  Should you have questions about certain items, go to www.cpsc.gov or www.recalls.gov and sign up to receive alerts of new recalls, as well as a list of current recalls.  Report dangerous toys to CPSC, 1-800-638-2772. 


We all know how busy Santa must be right now!  He’s probably checking that list for the last time!    If you know any of his helpers, these are a few tips they might consider:

  • Buy age-appropriate toys.  Even though some children are exceptionally bright, most toys’ designs are suited for their age.
  • Be aware of toys that may contain lead paint.  Federal limits for lead in paint dropped to 90 parts per million, the lowest in the world, according to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
  • Check labels and do not assume that all toys are safe.  They must be properly labeled.
  • If you purchase toys online, be careful, as hazard warnings are not always given.
  • Avoid toys with cords or long strings, as they could cause strangulation in small children.
  • Toys for tots should not have sharp edges or points.
  • Be sure soft, plush animals are washable and have secure eyes and noses that won’t come off.
  • You can be assured that little ones are going to put anything they can in their mouths, so be careful in choosing the size of squeeze toys, rattles, etc.
  • Paints and crayons should have ASTM D4236 on the package (American Society for Testing and Materials).For grade school children, helmets should be given along with bikes, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates.
  • Purchase arrows or darts with soft tips.
  • BB or pellet guns should not be purchased for children under age 16.
  • Avoid balloons, magnets and toys with small parts when selecting gifts for children under age 6.
  • If you choose electric toys, be sure they have the UL (Underwriters Laboratories) seal, to ensure the parts have been tested for safety.
  • Grandparents and other relatives should confer with parents when selecting certain toys, especially if they require supervision.

In 2008, the Commission reported 19 toy-related deaths and approximately 172,700 hospital emergency room toy-related treatments to children under 15.  Nearly half of these injuries (82,300) involved children under 5 years of age.    In order to make this holiday a joyous one, take time to consider the safety factors in selecting just the right playthings for your youngsters.