Thursday, May 19, 2011

Toy and Play Safety Tips for Caregivers, Nannies and Babysitters

Repost from

While it is important for you children to have fun while in the care of others, it is even more important for your child to be safe. I’ve outlined some basic toy and play safety topics for discussion with your caregiver below:

1. Make sure your caregiver understands how toys are intended to be used, and that instructions are understood.

2. When opening new toys, it is important to discard plastic wrappings. When assembling toys or changing batteries, it is important to secure small parts and batteries in a safe place. Also, tools used such as a screwdriver, may present their own safety hazards.

3. Make sure your caregiver understands age recommendations for toys and what your expectations are for safe play between different aged siblings. Do you want older children to play with small parts in a designated area of the house? Do you want your caregiver to double-check after clean up?

4. Explain safety hazards with soft toys and young children. Soft toys (as well as blankets, pillows and other soft items) are not intended to be in the sleep environment of young babies.

5. If a toy breaks, it may present a new safety hazard. Make sure your expectations are clear — do you want her/him to throw a toy away when it breaks, or show to you to decide about the next step?

6. Toys should be put away safety to avoid unnecessary trips and falls. Toy boxes and toy chests should have a lid that will stay open in any position and ventilation holes.

7. Think about small parts with children ages 3 and younger or older children who exhibit hand-mouth behaviors. Think about long strings/cords and the risk of strangulation. Explain this to your caregiver. Don’t have toys with long cords in reach of an infant’s sleep or play space.

8. Broken or un-inflated balloons are a choking hazard. This is one of the most common causes for choking. Discuss this with your caregiver.

9. Talk about your expectations when your caregiver buys your child a gift. Do you want to see it first and make sure it is something you feel is safe?

10. If your child has a developmental or physical disability, make sure to explain specific safety issues that may apply.