Your baby will amass an ever-growing collection of toys. You will need to store those toys in something. Some parents opt for shelves, but most commonly a toy box or toy chest will store your child's toys.
Toy boxes invoke memories of our own idyllic childhoods. Our discovery of the toys piled inside or climbing inside and closing the lid when playing hide-and-seek are memories we all have of our toy box. They truly are chests of treasure waiting for you to discover their contents over and over again. Many toy boxes are painted with scenes from nursery rhymes, clowns, and even toys, only adding to the magic that lies hidden within.
The typical toy box is made of solid hardwood, in a variety of finishes and stains or covered in painted pictures. Some are the typical wooden box with a lid; others are shaped like a pirate's chest. Newer toy boxes are designed to look like mini benches offering a place to sit.
Many accidents have occurred with small children and toy boxes over the years. There have been many reports of lids falling on children's heads and necks.
Smaller children reaching over and into the toy box have been trapped at the neck between the lid and the edge of the toy box when the lid unexpectedly dropped. Smaller children have also fallen into toy boxes or climbed in to hide or sleep and suffocated because the toy box was not properly ventilated.To prevent injuries and ensure your toy box is safe for your baby, the U.S Consumer Product Safety and Commission (CPSC) offers the following advice:
- Look for a toy box with sliding panels and a removable lid, or without a lid to remove the dangers associated with a lid altogether.
- If you are buying a toy box with a lid, make sure the lid has a spring-loaded bracket with a support that will hold the lid open in any position.
- Look for ventilation holes that will not be blocked if the toy box is placed against a wall. Ventilation holes in the lid or on the sides of the toy box will make sure air is always getting inside. This is important if your baby happens to climb inside.
- A toy box which has a gap between the lid and the sides of the chest when the lid is closed will also provide ventilation. Many chests are ventilated by a small gap between the underside of the lid and the sides or front of the toy box.
- Make sure the lid does not have a latch or clasp that can be accidentally locked. If you have a toy box with a latch, remove it.
- The number of toys you accumulate increases exponentially and they need somewhere to live! I bought a few pop-up hampers for toys, but I also bought the Little Tikes Mission Design Wood Toy Box as a mainstay in my daughters' room. It is a classic wooden toy box with lid. The lid is equipped with a safety hinge which helps the lid to open and close smoothly and slowly. The lid rests upon posts at the four corners of the toy box leaving an opening between the lid and edge of the toy box on all four sides. This opening prevents the lid from slamming down on little fingers and ensures air gets into the box should your child climb inside. I love this toy box for this safety feature alone!