For many parents and carers, there’s no sweeter sight than their baby discovering and playing.
You can enjoy these moments even more by following a few simple steps to keep your baby as safe as possible while they play.
Steps for playing safe
Some baby products are required to have minimum safety or information features. Toys for children up to 3 years old must meet specific requirements under the law. Look for labels that show compliance with the mandatory toys standard.
Choose sturdy and well-made toys that won't easily fall apart. Think about what will happen when your baby twists, pulls, sucks on, or drops the toy from a range of heights onto a hard surface – if it looks like it would easily break into small parts, choose another toy.
Be wary of toys which light up, make noise, or move, as these may contain dangerous button batteries. Button batteries and most products containing them are subject to mandatory standardsto reduce the risk of access by babies and children. And remember, always keep spare batteries out of reach, and dispose of used batteries safely.
Check for any age grading label that states the suitability of the toy for children up to 3 years old.
Buying online? Look at photographs and the listing description carefully – they should include warning labels and the age range the toy is suitable for. If the supplier doesn’t provide this information, don’t buy the toy – it’s not worth the risk.
Research the toy and supplier. Online ratings and reviews are a great source of information, too.
Always read product warnings and labels and follow instructions for safe assembly, use and maintenance.
Immediately, and safely, dispose of plastic packaging, loose small parts, broken toys or spent batteries.
Regularly check for wear and tear – don’t use a damaged product.
To prevent choking, small toys and toys that have small parts that may break off, should never be given to babies.
On larger toys, including soft toys, keep a look out for things like beads and buttons, or eyes and noses, which are poorly attached or may come loose when pulled and tugged through regular use.
Small household objects such as coins, car keys, and loose batteries are a choking hazard, and should always be kept out of your baby's reach.
To help you work out whether a toy or object poses a choking risk, use the Choke Check safety tool. If the object fits inside the tool, it could get stuck in your child's throat, and should be kept well away from your baby's reach.