Buying a rattle for baby as a gift or for your own infant seems like a harmless and inexpensive choice. Babies place everything in their mouths so rattles are both functional and fun. Some rattles even grow with baby offer teething support, interaction and stimulating colors. What parents or gift givers may be missing is the safety issue associated with this type of baby gear.

Check That Safety First – Classic rattles started out in metal and wood. Soon plastics came into the picture and rattles were less expensive and offered in greater varieties. Plastic has recently been on the chopping block as Bisphenol-A, commonly used in plastic products in the baby gear industry, has been linked to developmental issues in children, teens and adults. The best choice for complete safety is an eco-friendly wood or organic cotton rattle. These are often dyed with vegetable coloring and serve as a natural baby gear addition.

Stick With New and Proven – Along the same lines as baby gear safety, rattles should not be purchased second hand. Parents can just imagine where the rattle has been along its path to the second hand store. Anything that baby will put in his or her mouth needs to be purchased new, washed in hot water and rinsed well before being given to baby. There are plenty of other pieces of used baby gear to choose from, just not the rattle.

Bells, Whistles, Things and Stuff only if Attached Well – Babies love to shake, toss and jiggle a rattle. Today, there are baby gear rattles with mirrors, interactive buttons and music, but there is nothing fun about a choking hazard. Before purchasing a rattle, read the label thoroughly. Make sure the rattle was created for infants. Some rattles are made for babies six months and older, others are better suited for infants 12 months and older. Small pieces should not be easily removed. Tug, pull and tug some more on the rattle to be sure the baby gear is safe.

Parents have more choices in rattles today than in any previous generation. Soon, personal computers or talking, interactive toys will be embedded in rattles. While advanced technology is great, parents still need to check carefully for a safe rattle that baby can chew, gnaw and throw without causing any risk of injury to baby. The Consumer Product Safety Commission lists all recalled products and should be consulted before choosing any baby gear product.

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