HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - When buying toys for your keiki, parents should consider safety as well as entertainment. Dr. Christopher Tortora, an ophthalmologist for Hawaiian Eye Center, has the following tips:
- Inspect the toy before and after it is bought. It is very important to regularly examine toys as wear and tear can make them less safe.
- Even when toys are labeled for children age 3 and up, there may still be smaller pieces, which might not be appropriate for a child age 4 who still puts things in their mouth.
- Stuffed, plush toys should be machine washable, and made without tiny pieces that can be pulled off, such as buttons and ribbons.
- A very popular toy for any age is building blocks, however, make sure the corners and edges are rounded.
- Double check that the toys do not have any paint or finish that could be toxic or that are peeling or flaking off.
Suggestions by age group:
- Birth to 12 months: Brightly colored mobiles, rattles, balls, stuffed animals, activity gyms and blocks.
- 1 year olds: Stuffed animals, blocks, puzzles, finger paints, modeling clay, stacking/nesting toys, or musical toys.
- 2 year olds: Stuffed animals, blocks, puzzles, finger paints, modeling clay, stacking/nesting toys, musical toys, dress-up clothes, child size household items (broom, lawn mower), sandbox, kiddie pool, swings, backyard gym/climbing toys, and toy typewriter or cash register.
- 3 to 6 year olds: Large crayons, makers, toy computer or computer games, board games, roller skates, sewing toys or stinging beads, toy camera, stuffed animals, blocks, puzzles, finger paints, modeling clay, stacking/nesting toys, musical toys, and dress-up clothes.
- 7 to 12 year olds: Science items (microscope, telescope, chemistry set), books, bicycle, musical instrument, tape player, skateboard, jump rope, electric train, sport equipment, video games, computer games, board games.