Toy Box Safety: Ensure Fun Stays Safe
Toy boxes are a classic part of childhood. Who doesn't remember hiding in one as a kid or even napping in it occasionally? As much as kids and toys have changed over the years, one thing that hasn't c...
The cause of too many pinched, broken or crushed fingers, hits to little heads and even entrapment, they were avoided for quite a few years as a hazard to young children. Luckily, times are changing and they are now back in vogue& with several updates to make them safer. If you've been thinking about buying a toy box here's what you need to know to make a safe purchase.
Important Safety Features
There is plenty of choice when it comes to buying a storage piece these days, but the best products will have the following safety features: Lid Supports, Air Holes, and Finger Cutouts. All three of these safety features help protect children from injury and set parents' minds at ease.
Lid Supports are spring-loaded hinges that are positioned on the inside to hold the lid up. They hold it open in any position, preventing it from falling on children. Lid supports are a must-have feature for safety. Many children were injured or even killed in the past when lids came down and hit them on the head.
Air Holes are common on today's boxes. They may be handle-type holes on the sides or a small space or gap running along the top edge so that the lid does not sit flush to the top of the box. These gaps are important for providing air to kids who may be hiding in their toy chest.
Finger cutouts often take the shape of a dip along the center front of the box. They leave just enough space between the bottom of the dip and the lid to allow fingers to safely rest inside if the lid ever did come down on them, which is not an uncommon occurrence when two or more kids get together to play.
Other safety considerations are the materials used to make the box, the edges of the box and the size. Plastics can contain harmful chemicals that many parents simply don't want their children exposed to. Wood, on the other hand, is a natural resource that can be sealed, painted, stained or left unfinished, depending on your preferences. Wood has the added benefit of durability and fits into a home's decor better than plastic bins.
Be aware of hard or sharp edges on the lid. If possible, choose a lid with rounded edges to protect kids if they fall against it.
Finally, pay attention to the size of the box. Larger boxes can hold more items, but they can also be tempting for kids to play in. If you opt for a large size, be sure it does not have any locks on it that could cause a child to get trapped inside and explain to your children the dangers of playing inside.
Buying A Toy Box
If you long for the classic styling of yesteryear, you might start your search at thrift shops, secondhand stores, garage sales, or even antiques dealers. If you decide to shop in any of these places, carefully examine it for not only wear and tear and quality craftsmanship but also for the features mentioned above. Many older chests won't have the hinged lids, air holes or finger cut outs that modern styles have. And if it's painted, you'll want to remove the old paint carefully in case it has lead in it.
Alternatively, you could buy a new product. New products will be compliant with the latest safety requirements and you won't need to do any work to make it safe or look good. A personalized toy box makes the storage unit even more special and, if you choose a classic style, can grow with the child. Many of them find new life as the child gets older as a storage chest for mementos, books, and extra blankets with their favorite stuffed animal from their toddler days hidden deep inside. A high-quality personalized toy chest will be enjoyed for years and can even become a family heirloom that is passed down from generation to generation.
If you've been thinking about buying a toy box but were unsure about it due to safety horror stories you've heard you can put those worries to rest. Today's products are safer than ever. It's possible to have fun and functional toy storage and the peace of mind that comes with knowing your kids can safely get their treasures out on their own.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
WoodToyBox.com is a family-owned producer and retailer of handcrafted, 100% wooden toy boxes. The company's specialty is the personalized toy box. Laser-engraved names and monograms add to the heirloom quality of their toy chests. For helping buying a toy box visit them online at www.woodtoybox.com.