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safety considerations for toy selection at different ages
Being aware of how your child approaches objects and the world around them is the best way to keep them safe, and to be aware of their developmental processes. From birth to age three, the chief safety concern is that a child will put small or removable parts in their mouth. Exploring taste and texture with their mouth is the easiest way that infants and toddlers have to begin to understand their world, and they naturally send everything to their mouth as a means of introduction. Because of this tendency it is important to find toys that have no small parts that can be taken off or that would pop off easily when bitten or pulled. For any age, toys should be made from safe, non toxic materials and finishes, as well, so that there are no paints or dyes chipping off. It is also important to make sure there are no long strings or ribbons that pose a choking hazard for infants and young children. Soft or lightweight wooden toys are a good choice in the first eighteen months
because as a child is in the process of learning how to pick things up and developing fine motor skills, their control has yet to be perfected and they can hit themselves or others with hard objects.

After age three it is important to look at the moving parts of a toy or ride-on and make sure that they are designed with small fingers and toes in mind. Drawers with a gap instead of a handle or pull are ideal for children because they can learn to operate them without risk of slamming their fingers inside. You should feel over cars and other handheld toys to make sure there are no sharp edges and inspect them frequently to make sure that nothing has broken off, exposing a sharp edge. Ride-on cars and child-sized furniture should be balanced appropriately for a child's height so they won't fall off. Children respond uniquely to different shapes and it's important to figure out what's right for your child. Many people shy away from stools, for examples, even though they are the most comfortable and safe option for some children. Being aware of what your child responds positively and negatively to is the best way to keep them safe and happy and stimulated.
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