Health Safety and Nutrition for the Young Child


Toys are fun part of development of every child. Nevertheless, they bring with them risks when abused or not age-appropriate for the child. Guidelines do exist to guide caregivers and parents when choosing safe, and developmentally appropriate play toys for their children. The aim of this essay is to examine safe and developmentally age-appropriate toys that support development, learning and enjoyment. It also describes three appropriate toys for 6-12 month olds.   

Safe and Age-appropriate Toy Guidelines

Parents should choose toys that meet physical capabilities of a child. Age-appropriate toy is one that matches the child’s age, interests, abilities and skills (s)he is developing or learning. Such a toy must be creative and engaging to stimulate interest in the child. Similarly an appropriate toy should be simple to stimulate creativity in children. A toy that too advanced for a child’s age do not only pose safety hazards but can be very frustrating and deprive the child of enjoyment (O’Brien & Kuhaneck, 2018). It also denies one the ability to employ their own imagination.  A toy that does not encourage or challenge a child to employ and improve various developing skills is not age appropriate.

Parents should buy toys made of nontoxic art materials for their children. They should ensure toys with paints are lead-free to prevent lead poisoning. In case of fabric-made toys, parents should choose those labelled flame retardant. Toys with flammable parts catch fire easily and injure the child (O’Brien & Kuhaneck, 2018). Parents should choose toys large enough so that they cannot be easily swallowed by innocent children. They should avoid toys and objects with pieces smaller than 3 centimeters in diameter and 6 centimeters in length (Bowden, & Greenberg, 2012). Parents are advised to buy washable stuffed toys. Appropriate toys are those that can easily be cleaned and sanitized. A parent should avoid buying their children toys that make loud noises to prevent ear injury. Repetitive shrill noises can damage a child’s ears, which is noise-sensitive (O’Brien & Kuhaneck, 2018). 

Parents should go for toys that are strong enough and unbreakable to withstand chewing. Thus they should select well-constructed and durable toys. Moreover, they should avoid sharp-toy with loss ribbons, cords, strings, sharp edges and point that may cause injury to the child (Bowden, & Greenberg, 2012). Toys with loose string, ribbon or cord may cause triangulation or fall and thus must tighten before handing a toy to a child. Parents should avoid toys with moving parts or that can shoot into air. This is because they can easily harm the child or whoever they are aimed at.

Toys for play activity should be safe, stimulating and age-appropriate if they are to promote creativity, imagination and fun in children. Play is important in emotional, social, physical and mental development of children.  It is necessary to choose safe and age appropriate toys for children all through their lifespan because children display different interests and develop new skills during varied developmental stages. Parents should follow recommended guidelines when choosing toys for their children.  

Toys for 6-12-Month Olds

Babies aged 6 to 12 months like looking at people by following them with their eyes. They prefer bright colors and faces and are captivated with what their feet and hands can do, including lifting up their heads, putting stuff in their mouth, and turning heads towards music and sound (Sorrentino, Remmert, & Kelly, 2014). While all phases and ages of a child’s development are fantastic, 6-12 month olds are one of the best. Infants of this age love interacting with the world around them. Through such interactions, they reseach milestones learn and develop skills and senses. Play helps them to develop emotional intelligence, cogniotive and physical skills. Developmentally appropriate toys for this group include play mat, squeeze toys large rings, tethering toys and rattles.

Skip Hop Baby Treetop Playmat comes with many toys that can be hanged overhead. These toys are very stimulating for babies. The mat provide a clean environment for the child to practice tummy time. Infants like watching hanging objects. They keep infants safe and happy. Well-constructed mats support infants to develop fine-motor skills, hand-eye-coordination and visual sensory. They are also easy to clean (Fields, & Alan Fields, 2019). The vibrant floor tiles encourages child’s reasoning and logic. The child also learns to recognize color and shapes. 

Spiral Stroller Car Seat Toy is well designed and easy to hold for newborn babies. It contains colorful animal shapes of hedgehog, fowl and fox. Each animal make own unique rattling sound to keep the infant excited. Infants love toys that play sounds and light with a touch of a button (Owen, 2015). Some rattles display lights or play lullabies upon pushing the button, which teach infants regarding cause and effect. An infant learns that, by pushing the button, the toy is activated and this arouses their curiosity to learn. The rattle also teach infant eye coordination skills. As the adult moves, the rattle from side to another, the infant learns to track it with eyes. They have textured rubber patches to hold on while they are doing the shaking. Rattles are made of cloth, wood or plastic and thus safe.    

VTech Sit-To-Stand Learning Walker is a walking toy for 1-12-month old infants. This toy contain several sing-along songs with a phone, a piano. Rollers, shape sorters and light-up button. It’s four-wheeled to increase stability for infants. With cute animals, bright colors and 70 sing-along songs, this fun toy encourages imagination and helps develop an infant’s large and small motor skills. It is durable and is constructed from friendly materials.


Bowden, V. R., & Greenberg, C. S. (2012). Pediatric nursing procedures. Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer Health/Lippincott Williams & Wilkins

Fields, ‎D. & Alan Fields, A. (2019). Baby Bargains: 2019-2020 update! Your Baby Registry Cheat. Windsor Peak Press

O’Brien; J. C. & Kuhaneck, H. (2018). Case-Smith’s occupational therapy for children and adolescents. St. Louis: Mosby  

Owen, S. (2015). Complete guide to pregnancy and child care – the baby manual – part one. Place of publication not identified. LULU COM.

Sorrentino, S. A., Remmert, L. N., & Kelly, R. T. (2014). Patient care assistant. St. Louis, Missouri: Elsevier Mosby         

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