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Safety Concerns With Certain Age Groups

Toys come with a recommended age range for a few reasons. First of all, it has a lot to do with development levels. If a book is recommended for a twelve year old or older, that doesn’t mean that your eight year old can’t handle it, just that most eight year olds cannot. If your kid has already graduated from Doctor Seuss and Golden Books, they might be ready for the real literary experience waiting for them in the pages of Lord of the Flies or Winnie the Pooh.
Another reason for the age range is, of course, safety. Safety has more to do with physical development than mental or emotional development. The Haynes Internal Combustion engine is great for a kid who has grown strong enough to handle simple tools and carry slightly heavy parts. It’s recommended for kids aged eight to sixteen for reasons of both physical and mental development. A six year old would probably find it a bit cumbersome to put together when the engine block itself ways almost as much as they do.
If your six year old is the size of an eight year old, though, then you don’t have that to worry about. Safety issues are different from child to child just as mental development is different from child to child.
Under six years or so, though, you should probably be willing to treat these safety concerns as the gospel. Choking hazards are a very real threat, as are pointy, heavy, and delicate objects.
To break safety concerns down into age groups…
Infants
For baby toys, you really do want to regard the safety precautions with a lot of respect. Every toy you give a kid aged zero to twelve months needs to be a number of things in order to be safe. It has to be soft, it has to be devoid of anything like buttons that can easily snap off, and it has to be comfortable to cuddle with.
Toddlers
With toddlers, you want to avoid getting too complex with the toys. They can now handle plenty of toys with moving parts, but nothing easily broken, nothing with a lot of pointy corners, nothing that’s too heavy for them to safely lift, and you still want to be aware of choking hazards.
Small Children
Now it starts to get a little trickier. Some kids shoot up a foot or two between the ages of four and five, while others stay around the same size until they’re nearly seven or eight years old. At this point, you have to look at the safety precautions on the package and then exercise your own knowledge of your child’s development levels, physical and mental. And be honest with yourself! We all want to believe our kids are geniuses, but most five year olds just aren’t ready for a Technics Lego toy just yet. So try to stick to the recommended age range for now.
Here’s kind of a silly rule, but it’s a good gauge of your child’s physical growth. Next time you go grocery shopping, if your kid can easily carry a gallon of milk into the house and put it in the fridge without dropping it, he or she may be ready for toys recommended for eight year olds, but still, make sure to practice common sense and don’t give them anything that would make you nervous!…