4 yS t ivit he Toy Safety Ac et et Top tips when buying toys Session Plan Time Subject Activity 5 minutes Introduction Explain to the group that we are going to discuss tips to look for when buying toys to ensure they are safe. 10 minutes Visual Aids Use of visual aids to demonstrate unsafe toys and what to look for. 10 minutes Activity Ask the group to use the top tips leaflet and to look at the different toys to see if they are safe to use. 5 minutes Discussion Question and answer session. Discuss how we can try to keep different age toys separate at home and how we can encourage children to be tidy with toys to avoid accidents. Give each parent a leaflet and a copy of the Be Wise Be Safe DVD to take home. Resources: about hidden hazards and the dangers if younger children play with their older sibling’s toys, the Photographs/box of dangerous toys and dangers of buying cheap toys from the street truncated cylinder (see Resource section) traders or fairgrounds, or using second hand toys. Variety of toys for different age groups Toys are involved in over 40,000 accidents each Toy safety leaflet year, however most of these accidents occur Be Wise Be Safe DVD when people trip over toys and when babies play ! with toys intended for older children. Session plan This is a useful session to carry out a What is a few months before Christmas as many toy? parents will buy cheap toys as stocking A toy is "any fillers or as gifts for other children. product or material designed or clearly intended for use in Introduction play by children of Active play with toys is very important for child less than 14 years development. Play not only helps develop a child’s of age" but does brain but it enables them to problem solve, not include such develop reading and arithmetic skills and to items as develop creativity. Suggest to the group that children's fashion instead of rewarding their child with sweets, that jewellery or they save up the money each week and every so Christmas often buy their child a new toy of their choice. decorations. According to research in America, children are not disappointed by toy treats rather than sweets. It is also good to encourage children from a young age to get involved with the selection of their toys. Toys must meet strict safety criteria and if purchased from a reputable store will normally be safe to use. However parents need to be aware Christmas Decorations • Follow the guidelines on the toy. A message such as ‘not suitable for children under 36 Sales of toys are governed by strict regulations to months because of small parts’ should be taken protect young children from choking but this does literally. An age guideline, however such as not apply to Christmas decorations. However ‘recommended for children aged 3-4’ is sometimes it is hard to tell the difference. discretionary and is designed to help you to There are a large range of Christmas decorations decide if the toy will be fun for your child. that look like toys and are attractive to children • Is the toy – or any part of the toy – small as toys. However these can be unsafe. enough to swallow? To test the safety of a toy 91 different types were tested by Trading use the truncated cylinder. This clear plastic Standards Officers across the South-West in the tube, about 3cm across, allows objects to pass run up to Christmas last year. 58 of them could through it that are too small to be given to a have caused an injury to a child left alone to play child under 3 years of age. These include with it. Even a Christmas stocking was found on marbles, small interlocking blocks and game sale with the wording “unsuitable for children pieces. under 36 months”, odd when you consider that • What is the toy made of? Does it have any most stockings are bought for young children. sharp edges, spikes, protrusions or splinters. It is important to check the labels. Many items Are there moving parts that could trap or pinch state “This is a decoration, not a toy”, “keep out of little fingers? the reach of children”, “for use as a decoration • How strong is the toy? Pull on the hair, buttons, only”. Think carefully before buying these eyes, tails. Check for well sewn seams. products or place somewhere out of reach. • Are there any strings or cords? These could put a child at risk of strangulation. Activity • Does it look good enough to eat? Imitation Use a range of different toys and foods can be confusing to a small child – if you empty toy boxes to demonstrate think your child will try and eat it don’t buy it! what to look for. Around Easter time there are toys containing Use the photographs of the real sweets so make sure your child knows the hazardous toys to demonstrate difference. There are also eggs containing small issues. toys so extra vigilance is required. • Are there any manufacturers marks? The key What to look for when buying marks to look out for are the CE mark and the toys: Lion Mark. There may be warnings written next • Go to a reputable shop. Look for to these marks and these should be noted. retailers who are members of the • Is the toy new or second hand? Never give toys Lion Mark Scheme and avoid away without checking first that they are in buying from street traders and good working order and check them over for fairgrounds. safety hazards as you would when buying a new • Look for the mandatory European toy. Check all toys that are given to you and if Community (CE) symbol. This is a in doubt throw them out. claim by the manufacturer that • Could the toy be flammable? Check what the the toy meets the requirements material and stuffing is made from. Also advise of the EC Toy Safety Directive. the parent that some clothes/sports tops can Products without the CE mark be highly flammable if bought from a street may not be intended to be used trader or jumble sale. as toys but are novelties which may not be safe for children to play with. • Look for the Lion Mark, the British Toy and Hobby Association’s symbol of safety and quality, which indicates that the toy is manufactured to British and European toy safety standards. • Beware of second hand toys – there is no guarantee that they are safe.