With the “unofficial” start of summer “officially” here, we are all so excited to finally get our kids outside for some Vitamin D-filled days, and fun weekend pool parties. As Train Moms, we are always in search of balance, and in this case it is finding the balance between our kids having fun and being safe. So we turned to the experts at the Toy Industry Association (TIA) for some great tips to help make summer a win, win for kids and parents.
“Selecting age-appropriate toys and keeping toys labeled for older kids away from younger children is important year-round,” said Joan Lawrence, TIA vice president of safety standards and resident ‘Toy Safety Mom.’ “Children are inquisitive and fast, so active adult supervision during play is crucial.
- MAKE ADULT SUPERVISION REQUIRED. Children should never be left alone near water sources (pools, inflatable “kiddie” pools, beaches, etc.). Water toys should be kept out of sight or out of reach when not being used so children aren’t tempted to play in or near the water alone. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has published a complete set of tips and information to help keep kids safe in and near the pool.
- INSPECT TOYS REGULARLY and repair (or replace) damaged or broken parts as soon as they’re spotted.
- ORGANIZE AND STORE TOYS TO PREVENT SLIPS, TRIPS AND FALLS. An outdoor shed should be set up with designated “parking” spaces near the door for bicycles and other ride-on toys; smaller items like skateboards and skates should be hung up or stored on shelves to prevent accidents.
More OUTDOOR SAFETY TIPS can be found here.
- TAKE ADVANTAGE OF NEARBY NATURAL RESOURCES. Research what lakes, rivers, fields and forests are close by, and gather your family for an afternoon of fishing, swimming, hiking, boating, etc.
- CREATE A PLAY-FRIENDLY SPACE. If you live somewhere with outdoor space, create a child-friendly backyard or deck where your kids will actually want to spend time. Set aside designated play areas – a sandbox, for example, or patch of dirt where your kids are allowed to dig.
- HAVE KID-FRIENDLY TOOLS THAT THEY CAN USE OUTSIDE. Binoculars, magnifying glasses, shovels, bug catchers, etc., will get your children excited about exploring the great outdoors!
- BRING THE INDOORS OUTSIDE. Take some toys that your kids love to play with indoors, like building blocks, action figures, doll houses, and role-play accessories, and bring them outside!
More TIPS FOR PLAYING OUTDOORS can be found here.
For more information about toy safety, toy trends, and more visit www.ToyInfo.org.