Newborn Toys – Critical Health & Safety Issues

Dangerous toys sold in the US have caused 19 deaths in 2009 according to a report by US Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs). Main risk caused by recall toys published by the European Safety Commission in 2008 are:

  • Injuries – 20%
  • Chemical – 19%
  • Choking – 16%
  • Electric Shock – 15%
  • Fire – 10%
  • Other – 20%

With this statistic in mind, one wonders what type of toys would be safe for kids? How do you check if the toy is safe?

Safety Measures

To lower such risks, when shopping for toys parents should first become informed consumers and readers of labels. Consumer Web sites and package labeling contain the manufacturer’s recommendations and other important information. Instructions should be clear and easy to follow. No matter how much the parent may want the toy for it’s baby boy or baby girl, select only those that suit the they early age, abilities, skills. Toys that are too advanced may pose safety hazards to newborn child.

If you do not restrict yourself to buying toys only recommended for baby’s age as stated on the toy box you should keep an eye on your baby while he is playing in case he may chew or bite on the toys. The best option is to try and pull out the small parts from the toy(s) to make such that it will not fall off and to check it carefully before giving it to your baby. Nothing is more attractive to children than toys with bright colorings. But parents should beware. Brightly colored toys can pose a dangerous health risk to children from lead-based paint. So far in 2008, the CSPC has ordered the removal of 45 types of toys from store shelves in the U.S. due to high lead counts. In 2007, agency ordered the removal of 97 types of toys.

Children are mostly affected by lead poisoning because of their habits of putting things into their mouths. Unfortunately, children’s systems easily absorb lead. Lead poisoning can cause long-term mental and physical problems, and in some cases death. Children activity books, especially for this early ages, should be considered and testes as toys. They pose a risk of choking because the metal spine can be pulled off by a child. The spine and stickers can be swallowed, as they fit into the small parts cylinder. Also there is a risk of cuts because the released spine has sharps points that can cut the skin.

Small objects that babies can swallow, such as marbles, beads, balloons, small balls, many game pieces, barrettes and Lego blocks are also dangerous. They can become lodged in your child’s windpipe, ears or nose and completely block their airway. To test the safety of a toy, invest in a truncated cylinder, which is a clear plastic tube that is available at many stores and allows objects to pass through it that are too small to be given to a child under three. Or, you can even use a toilet paper tube. Make sure that stuffed animals are washable (so they won’t become a breeding ground for germs) and that they don’t have easily removable parts, such as eyes or nose. These parts could become dislodged and find their way easily into baby’s mouth. Also, check squeeze toys and make sure they don’t contain a squeaker that will detach, posing a choking hazard.

Generally, avoid toys with batteries or even worse mains operated toys/appliances for babys due to a number of reason. Firstly batteries tend to leak and we know baby’s like to suck on things. Secondly Baby’s could all start a ‘hire-a-huby’ business. Thirdly mains operated toys or appliances come with cords, which can be a strangulation risk as previously mentioned. If you really can’t get around using things like baby monitors or night lamps, than please make sure that the cables are secured and out if reach. It pays to check on that frequently as older siblings tend to be fascinated with those too. Before you know it cables are in the open again.

Toy Safety Standards

As well as making sure your toys are safe, one of the things you can do is to check if the toy producer provide product liability insurance in case something does ever happen. The three sets of toys standards are:

  • International Standard ISO 8124 established by the International Organisation for Standardisation (supplemented by IEC 62115 for electric toys established by International Electrotechnical Commission);
  • European Standard EN 71 Series and EN 62115 standard for electric toys as specified in BS EN 71 and BS EN 62115; and
  • ASTM F963-08 established by the American Society for Testing & Materials.

The Bottom Line

Finally, remember that toy safety, doesn’t end when you leave the store. Follow these advises to ensure your newborn stay safe from the moment he receive a toy to the day he is ready to give it up. Always remember that the supervision is the most important safety factor that you can provide to protect a child from harm.

Work at Home Mom – How to Find Time for Your Business

Any work-at-home-mom will confess that owing her own business is as challenging as it gets. While the rewards are bountiful, the word easy is not one used to describe small business ownership.

Many moms who work out of their home also have to multi-task tending to the needs of their small children. In fact the reason many parents choose to work at home is so they can be available to care for the kids. Keeping up with household maintenance and child rearing is a full time job. So how does one find time for her business?

The answer to that is simple. You don’t find time; you make time. OK the part about making time may not be that simple, but it is very much doable. The most important factor in making time is your mind set. Remember RYBLAB – Run Your Business Like a Business. Assuming we’re talking about a bona fide business and not just a little something you do periodically to earn a little extra cash, then it’s important to manage your time.

The mom business owner who has an infant or toddler will need to manage her time much differently than one who has school aged children. For those who are also caring for an infant, take advantage of the times when baby is sleeping. Just don’t forget to get a few hours of sleep yourself!

Toddlers are a little more challenging as they are very busy little people. Set up a desk for your little one near your computer. While mommy is working, your toddler can color or work on simple crafts. Or set up a small corner near you with some favorite toys.

Business owner parents who have children in school all day know they have a window of approximately six hours to get as much done as humanly possible without interruptions of parental tasks. The key is to take full advantage of any time you have to yourself or at least without a child needing your undivided attention.

Don’t try to find the time – you’ll run yourself ragged trying to find something that isn’t there. You need to make the time. If you fail to plan, you can plan to fail. Just as married couples should schedule dates on a regular basis, small business owners need to schedule work time and stick with it!

You can do it!

What To Look For When Purchasing A Toy Hauler

Toy haulers have gained a new audience over recent years and have become popular amid two very different crowds. The first toy haulers were precisely that. They were constructed to carry ATVs, dirt bikes, or other similar equipment. They were often used by those camping for the weekend.

The first toy haulers were not particularly luxurious. Many were little more than metal trailers suitable for carrying heavy items. Yet, as time evolved more families started to enjoy these excursions. Once the family interest was considered, a new evolution began. The toy hauler was no longer just for, “toys.”

When families grew interested in toy haulers, new features were soon added to heighten the luxury of this transportation. Suddenly, bathrooms and sleeping areas were added. It wasn’t uncommon to see toy haulers with kitchens and other amenities usually only found in full-size recreational vehicles.

The toy haulers of today also referred to as sports utility vehicles, will carry both your family and your toys. Since the expansion of this method of travel has became so popular, you will already know the options are nearly limitless. You can choose from a variety of floor plans, sizes, and amenities.

Since purchasing a toy hauler will involve a relatively large financial investment, generally starting around $15,000, there are several important factors that will be imperative to your buying experience. These will help make your experience as positive and simple as possible.

You can customize your toy hauler through accessories. From televisions to awnings and even shelves in the toy area, the only limit is your budget. You can even install fueling stations for your equipment.

Before you buy, as with any major investment, conduct research on the dealers in your area. You can ask around your community or even contact your local Better Business Bureau to examine their business record. This will prove that the dealership has a good relationship with their clientele. This should be accompanied with other forms of research, such as the internet, to ensure there aren’t complaints that aren’t registered with the BBB.

Your potential dealer should have an established history, a good sized inventory, and a good technical support system. They should also be able to help you with any malfunctions quickly and efficiently.

Your ideal toy hauler should be a brand that has a great reputation. This is a major investment to begin with and you will want a hauler that will be with you as long as possible. Choosing an established brand ensures that your product will be a good quality purchase.

You should already know precisely which toys you will be hauling. What is the towing capacity of your hauler? What are the weight limits? Compare the size of your passenger load to that of the floor plan. Is it suitable?

The weather will also have an influence on your needs. Will you be using your toy hauler for winter sports? Does your model of choice offer plenty of storage for skis and other equipment? If you will be using your model for warmer weather, will it hold your ATV or dirt bike with room for other necessary items?

If you are purchasing a used toy hauler, be certain you thoroughly examine it prior to purchasing it. Look for worn or rusted areas, loose bolts, and any technical imperfection in general that may cost you even more to repair.

Toy haulers have gained popularity and from all apparent traffic on our major highways, they will only continue to grow. They combine functionality and convenience for the best of a home and a transport for your toys.