You were in the attic and you found your old alphabet blocks. They are still in pretty good shape and with a little cleaning, you think they would be great for your own little one. But, you might wonder if they are still safe. After all, the safety rules for children’s toys and other products have changed over the years, in some cases quite dramatically. Before you give any toy, new or used to your children, there are several things that you should consider in regards to their safety.
First and foremost: Was the toy made of safe materials in the beginning and is it in good shape? If you cannot define exactly who made the toy or what it was made of it, it is better to simply buy a new set that is clearly labeled. Back in the old days, lead paints and dangerous types of plastic were the norm, simply because information that we have now was not available. Don’t throw away the heirloom toys though, they can be used as part of the décor in the baby’s room, he just cannot touch them.
Another type is created from soft material. These are great because they are soft and less likely to cause injuries. To be safe, these types should be too big to fit into the baby’s mouth and should be regularly inspected for tears or holes. These can usually be washed by tying them into a pillow case and then tossed into the washing machine. Remember to remove them from the baby’s crib at night to prevent any risk of harm. Again, make sure that these are made of good quality material and that only non-toxic dyes are used.
The baby won’t care about the letters or the little pictures until they are a little bit older. For a very young baby, the best option are the alphabet version that have strong contrasts and good size to make it easier to hold onto for their little hands. Remember, baby can grasp larger items first before he starts developing his fine motor skills and everything that he gets hold of goes right into his mouth. Make sure that all of the toys you give him are free from toxic materials and that they are all in good shape.
They can have familiar faces on them or interesting pictures that correspond with the letter that they represent. There are even some that will teach your little one a new language as well as the familiar word. As long as they are safe, your little one will love their little alphabet blocks for a very long time.