Manufacturers will label their toy products according to age. You will usually see a label on the front of the package that tells you which age group the toy is for. This label is not just based on who the manufacturer believes will like the toy best. It also is a safety label.
The government has strict standards for toys. Manufacturers have to be aware of choking hazards and ensure toys for small children do not contain these risks. While following the packaging instructions can help you to avoid a choking hazard for your child, sometimes toys make it through the process that is problematic. You need to understand what hazards may exist so you can avoid these toys.
Stanford Children’s Health explains the size of toys and the parts of toys is one of the keys to avoiding choking hazards. Anything that could break off, fall off or otherwise disconnect with the toy or toys that are able to easily fit in your child’s mouth is a risk.
Even if a toy does not have small parts, you need to make sure it is in good condition with solid construction. If something breaks off a toy, it could pose a choking risk. You should always check toys for weaknesses in design, especially if it is a used toy.
You can get a small parts tester to check toys or parts of toys. These tubes are made to be the same size as the throat of a small child. If something fits into the tube then it is too small for your child to play with.
Keeping your child safe means choosing toys that do not pose choking hazards and checking out toys to be sure they are not a risk.