Child playing with an age appropriate toy at a Texas daycareIn the United States, toys are typically labeled with specific age ranges to cater to children's diverse developmental needs and safety requirements. Despite this, our experienced Texas daycare injury attorney has uncovered a concerning trend within daycare centers: a lack of meticulous attention to ensuring children use age-appropriate toys.

This oversight poses a significant risk, as improper use of toys can lead to hazardous situations and jeopardize the safety of children under their care. By neglecting to monitor and enforce toy usage guidelines, daycare centers may inadvertently expose children to potential accidents and injuries.

What Makes a Toy at Daycare Age Appropriate? 

Numerous factors play a role in determining if a toy is age-appropriate. Some of these factors include:

  • Label guidance: Label recommendations are a good starting point for determining if a child should play with a toy. Unlabeled toys are typically best to avoid because there’s no clear indication of their appropriateness. They also could have been recalled due to potential safety concerns. 
  • Developmental appropriateness: Not all children learn and develop skills in assessing risk at the same age. The child’s behavior and development stage should play a role in toy selection. For example, a child who explores toys by mouth needs limitations on any toy with small parts due to the risk of choking, regardless of age.
  • Safe size: Younger children are not likely to remain safe while playing with a toy that fits completely inside their mouth. Larger toys that can be squeezed or molded into a small size can also become a choking hazard. 
  • Quality construction: A poorly-made product may easily have pieces break off or tear. This may create a sharp edge that could cut a child or cause painful choking if the sharp part is swallowed.
  • Safe finish: The exterior finish of the toy's surface needs careful attention. It should be made with a durable paint or finish that’s non-toxic. It should not peel or splinter. If it does peel, children may ingest the paint or finish, which could cause serious damage.
  • Cleanliness: It’s impossible to clean all toys well, especially those made with soft fabrics. If a toy cannot be washed easily, it could spread germs or become a home for dangerous bacteria. 

These are some basic guidelines for the selection of safe toys. Remember that a toy safe for one child may not be safe for another. 

Types of Inappropriate Toys at Texas Daycare Facilities

A toy that’s unsafe for a child puts that child at risk in some way. This may occur in various ways. For example:

  • The toy may have paint that peels off. The child may consume the paint, which can lead to toxic exposure.
  • A toy with a broken arm or leg may easily be placed into a child’s mouth. They could swallow it and choke on it or develop other digestive complications.
  • Broken toys may have sharp edges, leading to cuts or more serious lacerations. This may also inflict damage to a child’s eyes.
  • Small toys may lead to a swallow hazard as school-aged children may still attempt to place the toy in their mouth. 
  • Electric toys used improperly could have a shock risk to children. This could lead to significant burns.
  • Falls from a toy that’s too large or not meant for the child may lead to head injuries, lacerations, broken bones, and other risks.

This doesn't mean daycare centers have to restrict all of these types of toys from every child in daycare. It's important for caregivers to know about developmental appropriateness and always closely watch the children under their supervision.

Examples of Age-Appropriate Toys at Texas Daycare Facilities

Choosing safe toys may seem complex. There are many factors to consider when choosing toys for daycare or even at-home play. Consider some recommendations:

  • For children under six months of age: Choose toys with bright colors and items with faces. Look for board books, soft dolls, toys they can shake to make noise, or large, brightly colored rings. Choose toys with soft music or storytelling.
  • For children between 7 and 12 months: Consider toys that foster pretend play, such as puppets, soft plastic toys such as vehicles, and water toys. Soft blocks and wooden cubes too large to place in the mouth may be acceptable. 
  • For children between 1 and 2 years old: Select toys made with non-toxic paints and materials. Toy phones, dollars, and dress-up accessories may be appropriate as long as no strings or wires are on them.
  • For older toddlers: Pretend play and building sets may be appropriate as long as there is supervision and all pieces are too large to place in the mouth. Choose dress-up clothing, transportation toys, and riding toys appropriate for their physical abilities. 

How to Find Out What Toy Your Child Was Playing With if They're Injured at Daycare

In the aftermath of your child's injury involving a toy at daycare, navigating through the uncertainties and lack of information can be overwhelming. Often, daycare centers hesitate to disclose precise details regarding the toy involved or may even lack awareness of the incident's circumstances. In such challenging situations, seeking assistance from a daycare injury lawyer is necessary.

With The Button Law Firm's resources, our team can complete a comprehensive investigation to uncover crucial information about the toys present during the incident. Through witness statements, review of available video footage, and examination of facility reports, we can piece together the sequence of events, shedding light on what transpired. Armed with this information, you can take appropriate measures to address any unnecessary risks your child may have been exposed to, ensuring their safety and well-being moving forward.

Contact The Button Law Firm if Your Child Was Injured by a Toy at Daycare

Our team of experienced and compassionate daycare injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm is dedicated to advocating for you and your family if your child suffered injuries because they were allowed to play with a non-age-appropriate toy. With attorneys in Dallas, Houston, and Midland, we are ready to listen, fight for your family, and help your family move forward.

Our attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you after a traumatizing incident involving your child. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to get started on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409, email us at [email protected], or fill out a contact form for a free case evaluation.

Russell Button
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Dallas, Houston, and Midland Texas trial and personal injury lawyer dedicated to securing justice for clients.