At Lucas loves cars we love quality toys. They look better, they feel better and most importantly they are safer for little people to play with.
As part of our commitment to safety, we asked Megan from Save A Kid to help us with some Safety tips around the play area in your home.
Megan has provided us with some hazards to look out for - and we have paired them with some of our toys to show you some of the safe alternatives.
Save a Kid is a first aid business with a focus on preparing parents for both the unexpected and the inevitable. Inspired by her experience as a paediatric emergency nurse, the sessions combine life saving skills and essential knowledge around common illness and injury.
Toys and Home Safety
Home sweet home. Its where little kids spend most of their time learning and growing, developing and playing. Most people are surprised to learn that it’s also the most common place for kids to be injured.
Half of all injuries in the newborn to 4 year old age group happen at home, with about a 50/50 split between inside and the backyard.
Half of all deaths and injuries in the newborn to 4 year old age group happen at home, with about a 50/50 split between inside and the backyard.
When it comes to playing with toys, there are simple ways to minimise the risk of your little one getting into trouble. It's important that kids are able to play with toys, for their enjoyment, stimulation and learning.
We know that no home is perfect, and it’s near impossible to maintain a hazard free environment when you have children of different ages. Which is why we work to minimise risk not remove it completely.
MY VERY TOP TOY SAFETY TIP
Supervise and know what is around the house. You don't have to be on top of the kids all the time. Know where they are, what they are doing and what they are playing with. There is nothing scarier than a quiet toddler!
I say this with total non-judgement. I’m a mum of 3 wild boys and a paediatric emergency nurse. Still I have had drawers tip over, coins swallowed, toddlers found hiding in corners with mouthfuls of tiny lego, and toys put in places no toy should ever go.
At these times knowing First Aid really helped to stop a bad situation being much worse.
THiNGS TO THINK ABOUT
Think about keeping toys age appropriate and out of reach when not in use.
Here is the nitty gritty about what and why you need to think about. Knowing what can be harmful is often the key to safety.
Look at what both your old and new toys are made of, particularly for babies and toddlers who are at an age where they put everything in their mouths and like to suck on things.
In particular lead can be found in toxic levels in fun items like finger paints, as well as on painted or lacquered toys. Plastic toys can contain toxic levels of DEHP (a yucky chemical). There are regulations in place for products sold in Australia now, but consider where toys come from, and how old they are. (and cheap imports don't always pass these regulations.)
Look out for soft toys with parts that can easily come off (ie those little eyeballs and noses stitched onto teddies).
All toys especially soft toys should be kept out of cots and sleeping environments of babies. If they roll into one it can cover their nose and mouth, interfering with their breathing.
Anything with a string or ribbon (think pull along toys, balloons, threading toys) have the potential to be a strangulation hazard. A length of 30cm or less is recommended for young ones.
Kids airways are small and easily occluded. Basically, for kids under three years of age if it can fit in their mouth, they probably shouldn’t be playing with it.
There is a Small parts check that has to be completed for toys to pass the under 3 yrs requirement. Which is why you find that many toys are 3+ years.
The ACCC Product Safety website has a make it yourself Choke check cylinder. Anything that fits totally inside the top end of the Choke Check cylinder could become lodged in a young child’s throat and choke them.
Any child of the 80’s probably had a fridge full of alphabet magnets. Your kids can too, just make sure they can’t fit in their mouths, and don’t have small magnets attached. And of course, make sure anyone looking after your kids knows how to manage a choking child - it’s not something you have time to google at the time.
That takes us to Magnets and Batteries. The kids may not choke on them but they are very serious if ingested.
Button batteries can be found in many toys that make a sound or light up (as well as loads of common household items), and can cause life threatening injuries within hours if swallowed. Call 000 or go to your nearest Emergency Department if you suspect your child has ingested one. Small magnets are another choking hazard, as well as being a problem inside the tummy if more than one are swallowed.
A storage bag is a great alternative to shelving.
And reduce the risk of stepping on all those toys! #lego
Drawers, shelving, bookcases and cabinets should all be secured to the wall with an appropriate clip or bracket. They pose a serious tipping and climbing hazard.
Even low lying drawers can tip. Kids pull out a drawer then stand in it, causing the whole unit to tip onto them. It’s really frightening, very dangerous, and something you really must do as soon as your baby is mobile.
Heavy toy box’s, those beautiful wooden ones, or large plastic boxes too, can close onto a child's head, neck fingers or hands. Kids can also become trapped inside them.
To ensure toy boxes are safe:
- look for a lightweight and/or removable lid
- Stoppers that allow a 12mm gap (allowing it to clear fingers when closed and for breathing if a child is stuck inside)
- Ventilation holes
- A lock open function.
Or use a Toy Storage bag.
Of course we think having basic knowledge around first aid for kids is super important. If you’d like to check out our sessions you can find Save A Kid at https://www.saveakid.com.au
For more information about safety around the house and in your backyard check out https:// www.kidsafevic.com.au
When choosing products for your baby or child, and to check if toys and furniture meet Australian guidelines you can visit
We don't want to scare you. We do want you to enjoy your toys, have fun, learn and play - Safely.
We work hard to ensure ALL the brands we stock are Quality Toys.
Thanks for playing with us.
Helle is the owner and head toy lover at Lucas loves cars. She has been playing with toys since 2012 and still hasn't got it quite right, so will continue to play for a while yet.