Many children have already sent the letter to Santa Claus and the Magi, and await their Christmas gifts with great enthusiasm. The toys, in addition to entertaining and entertaining, can serve to facilitate the development and education of the little ones, stimulate their imagination and make them more creative. Therefore, pediatricians advise parents to help their children to choose toys, and ensure that the most appropriate are those that encourage children's desire to experiment and their creativity.

When choosing gifts, it is very important to take into account the age of the child. Until two years, for example, tend to take everything to the mouth, so toys can not have sharp edges or pointed, should be made of soft materials that lack toxicity, and can not have small parts that the child could enter in the mouth, nose, ears ... At these ages, in addition, it is necessary for an adult to play and talk with them to facilitate the development of language and its interaction with people in their environment.

Electronic toys help children become familiar with the world of computers, and can be an effective educational complement

From 3 or 4 years old children are more creative and have more developed fine motor coordination, so they are able to have fun with construction games, modeling with plasticine, drawing, and invent stories with their favorite dolls.

The games in which several players participate and in which they have to adhere to established rules, are very appropriate for school-age children because they help them to reason, to work as a team, and promote social relationships. At this stage it is also important to encourage the habit of reading.

Electronic toys are among the favorites of children of this age, and Dr. Ana Martínez Rubio, pediatrician of Primary Care at the Center of Health of Beds (Seville), and member of the Spanish Association of Pediatrics of Primary Care (AEPap) , believes that they are very instructive because they help children to become familiar with the world of computing, and can be an effective educational complement. However, he warns that it is necessary to restrict the time devoted to this type of entertainment.

The expert also recommends that parents limit the time their children spend watching television because, especially on these dates, the large amount of advertising on toys can confuse the little ones, inciting them to consumerism and wanting everything. In his opinion, children should not ask for more than two or three toys or games, always advised by their parents.

Tips for choosing toys well at Christmas

Experts insist that all attention be paid to toys that meet all safety standards and are appropriate so that the child can manipulate them without him or anyone in their environment being at risk. In order not to fail in the election, Dr. Antonio Redondo, pediatrician, recommends:

  • Carefully read the instructions on the boxes or containers, checking that it is appropriate for the age of the child, and that it complies with the safety regulations prescribed by law.
  • Choose good quality toys, which are trustworthy, and learn well about the way of employment.
  • Do not buy toys that are too difficult for the child's ability or ability.
  • Do not use balls, skates, bicycles, toys that are thrown or shot in the home, or any device that is indicated for the outside, to prevent the child or others from being injured.
  • Visit the stores to see all available alternatives because not all toys appear in advertising.
  • Check periodically the toys to verify that they are in good condition and that they do not pose any danger to the child.
  • Check that the toys that are used to climb them are stable and safe, and do not present any assembly defect that could constitute a risk.

Sources: Spanish Society of Outpatient Pediatrics and Primary Care (SEPEAP) and Spanish Association of Primary Care Pediatrics (AEPap)

Children and Holiday Safety (November 2019).