When it comes to choosing Christmas presents for children, you can often feel like a child in a candy shop yourself! There are so many shiny new products to choose from, so many things that will make your little ones hop around the room with joy on Christmas morning, so many things wrapped in glittery ribbons and bows! However keep your safety radar on when buying Christmas gifts this year. Sian Peek, our EssexBaby.co.uk safety blogger, has put together the following tips on tackling Christmas shopping for the little angels in your life.

Small parts are not for small hands!

Little ones will put anything into their mouths! Toys with small parts can easily break and can pose a choking hazard to young children. Check for detachable features and small parts that could be a safety risk.

Read warnings and instructions

When buying toys, be aware of age and safety recommendations and take them seriously. Do not opt for toys that do not have the CE mark displayed on the toy or its packaging. Although the CE mark is not meant as consumer guidance, it is a commitment from the toy maker that the toy complies with all EU safety rules.

Check toys against recommended age

Toys not intended for young children can cause serious injuries. Follow the age recommendation. You’ll often see the 0 to 3 symbol and words such as ‘not suitable for children under 36 months’ next to a hazard sign. This sign is important.

Take a good look

Check toys for signs of damage that could cause injury to a child. Are there any sharp edges? Loose seams? Hanging wires?

If the desired toy makes a noise, does it have a volume control? (You’ll be thankful if you check this!) If not, test it out to see how loud a noise it will make and whether if held closely it could damage a little ones’ hearing.

If you’re buying for little artists, check that paint sets, crayons and plasticine are marked as nontoxic.

If toys are battery operated, ensure that the battery compartments are screwed shut. Little hands pulling out the batteries can easily cause a choking hazard, and battery acid can leak out if they are bitten on.

If you’re unsure, take toys and games out of the box – most retailers won’t mind. This way you can take a proper look at the contents and the parts inside. Check that nothing can be broken off or removed easily. Close your eyes and run your hand over all the edges to be sure they’re not sharp.

Be shop-smart

Always buy children’s toys from reputable shops and online retailers. They take care that the toys they sell meet health and safety standards and will often have reviews of their products from other parents that have purchased them. If you have a particular product in mind, take some time to read online reviews and product demonstrations to ensure your purchase is right for your little Elf!

If you have done your research and preparation before hitting the shops, you’ll not blindsided by the glittery glow of Christmas treats that tempt you, and safety can be your top priority!

Happy Shopping!

Article provided by Sian Peak, from www.simplesafetysolutions.com