Parent Survival Guide: Choosing age-appropriate toys for kids

VIDEO: Parent Survival Guide: Choosing age-appropriate toys for kids

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - Tis the season for toys!

The right toys can help children develop imagination and coordination.

The wrong ones can do more harm than good, according to local Pediatrician Dr. Farro Durant with Sweetgrass Pediatrics.

“For me safety is my number one concern especially when you have different ages in your family, you really want to pay attention to the age restrictions on the box,” says Durant.

She says not following those age restrictions on the box can lead to hidden dangers and small parts getting into the hands and mouths of little ones.

“Three and under you really want to think about the size of their fist. Anything smaller than that is too small. It’s something they could potentially swallow and ingest and cause problems,” says Durant.

Durant says even innocent toys like a stuffed animal could pose a risk to young children. She says always look at the quality of the product and any loose parts.

There is also another important thing to keep in mind.

“The paper that you get with your toy that says 'Please register’ that always ends up in the trash is super important. If you fill that out and put your contact info on there if there is a problem or recall you will be called, which is nice,” says Durant.

She says look at toys that fit the abilities, skills and interest level of the child. For babies, she says look for toys that will stimulate their senses of sight and sound.

Toddlers who are eager to explore look for toys that encourage play. School age kids are very curious and love to use their imagination. So things like dolls, action figures and board games are usually winners.

For preteens, look for toys that will allow them to show their personality like fast paced games, electronics and musical instruments.

Durant says it’s important to also lookout for where a toy is made. Toys manufactured in the US are made usually with higher standards, while toys from places like China can often contain toxins like lead.

When it comes to shopping she says one thing you can never go wrong with giving a child of any age, and has a great impact, is a book.

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