You could assume that playing with a dollhouse is a nice and safe activity for your child, and it mostly is, but I would like to share some dollhouse safety tips with you because there are a few things to consider that you might not have thought of.
And you can never be too sure and safe, right?
Let’s just dive straight into things.
Why does dollhouse safety matter?
Dollhouses and toys in general can be dangerous to your child and are not to be underestimated, but adults (yes adults haha), need to take care too.
Of course, there is no need for alarm or panic, but according to Stanford’s Children’s hospital, 217000 children per year end up in the emergency room for toy-related injuries.
97% doesn’t need hospitalization, but it is always better to be safe than sorry and I will talk about a few precautions in this article to keep your child (and you) safe.
As for dollhouses and miniatures, the biggest concern here is a choking hazard.
Age-Appropriate Play: Understanding Toy Safety Guidelines
Toys, whether they are dollhouses, building blocks, mechanic things, or others, must be safe and reliable.
In recent years, there has been a more global focus on the quality and safety of toys in general.
Because most of the world’s toy production is happening in China (70% of the world’s production), the toy industry is intertwined internationally and concerns for children’s safety are worldwide.
This is why the interest in international safety standards has increased.
Because of this, the ISO 8124 series of standards has been developed by the “International Standards Organization” (ISO).
To develop these ISO series, the following standards were used:
- Set of standards for toy safety called EN 71, a European standard
- the standard consumer safety specification for Toy Safety, by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM)
What do these safety standards actually mean?
The ISO 8124 standard includes the criteria for the characteristics of toys, such as shape, size, small parts, sharp points and edges, and hinge gaps.
These actual standards contain an extensive explanation, but I will try to keep it short by saying where the emphasis is focused on:
- The mechanical and physical parts of a toy: this standard covers all toys for children aged 14 and under and the safety considerations of these parts.
- Flammability: This characteristic determines how an object reacts under a very small ignition source. It is mostly focused on toys with fabric like bears and dolls.
- The use of chemicals or not is also something to take a look at for children’s health.
Toys should have acceptable threshold values for things like arsenic, barium, cadmium, chromium, lead, mercury, etc…
I have written about eco-friendly and healthy toys before by Plantoys.
- Safety Norms were decided in 2014 for things like swings, slides, climbing tools, and toy pools.
- In the last decade, Phthalate in plastic has been researched a lot.
It seems to have an impact on hormonal development and reproductive disorders, so it was included in the toy standards.
- Another part of the toy standards is defining test methods and requirements for finger paint and body paint and packaging and labels.
All substances like dyes, moisturizers, binders, and preservatives are covered by these requirements.
So making sure to use non-toxic paints to avoid harmful fumes.
- The age at which a child is allowed to begin to play with certain toys is agreed upon in these last standards.
These set toy safety standards are helping to have better communication between toy companies worldwide.
How to prevent fire and electric shocks from dollhouse electrical components?
If you or your child comes into contact with an electrical energy source, you could get an electric shock: electrical devices, circuits, and wires can all cause this.
The good news here is that you will not get electrocuted by 12 Volt electric dollhouse lighting and wires, at all, it is not a gigantic shock hazard.
A few dollhouse safety tips though that should be mentioned and that you should keep in mind:
- Never leave a (young) child and an electrified dollhouse unsupervised, and a child under 14 years should always be supervised
- Do not let 12V electric lighting on for more than an hour, because it can overheat, turning the transformer off in time.
- Always read the manual before installing any miniature lights
- If you do not have experience with wiring electricity, please do not try to install something unsupervised.
- Always check each miniature light if it is safe before installing a complete project or when reinstalling something, because a damaged fitting can cause an electric fire.
- This might seem obvious, but do not place a transformer or electric wires against a heat source like a fireplace or other types of an open fire.
- the same goes for water, be careful to not spill any water on electrics, because this can cause a short circuit. Also, don’t touch anything with wet hands!
- Make sure to switch off the transformer when the lights are not in use.
DIY dollhouse building: Safe tools and protection for Dollhouse Construction
Safety glasses are obviously to protect my eyes against dust or pieces “flying around” (yes, it happens on a small scale lol), ear protection when sawing a longer time, and a dust mask because I have dustmite allergy and all the wood dust really has an effect on my sinuses.
When creating or renovating a large dollhouse, I would even use working gloves against splinters.
Also, make sure to check your power tools and regularly maintain them.
How to check the Dollhouse for Potential Hazards
When you purchase or create a dollhouse for your child, there is a checklist to consider regarding safety:
- Check the electricity: make sure that there are no loose wires or exposed wires
- Age-appropriate play: beware to purchase or make a dollhouse that is suited for your child’s age. Kids tend to get interested in dollhouses (roleplaying) from the age of just three years old.
- This latter also includes too not having small pieces in your dollhouse that could cause a choking hazard because your child is too young to play with it
- Avoid sharp edges of your dollhouse or chipped pieces
- Beware of not having a dollhouse made with toxic substances, as explained at the beginning of this article
Teach your child how to play safely with dollhouses and miniatures.
Besides the precautions as explained above, you can also teach your child a few safety tips (I know that this is probably not as easy as it sounds haha 😉 )
Teach your child not to break, push or throw with a toy, as this can cause sharp edges or shipped pieces.
Teach her, or him, to not dissemble wires, walls, or to even touch any transformer or miniature lights.
But even then, please always supervise your child when playing with a dollhouse, especially under the age of 8!
Also, teach your kids how to safely store away small dollhouse furniture and accessories after playing with them.
My Final Conclusion
I hope that I could inform you enough about how to create a safe play environment with all these dollhouse safety tips.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to ask them down below in the comment section or join me on my social media channels or Facebook group.
I wish your kid happy times while playing safely with her or his dollhouse!
My name is Lizzy, and I am an amateur miniaturist obsessed with everything in the dollhouse and miniature world, ever since I was a teenager.
I love to write as well about all things happening in the miniature world, hence the reason why I created this blog!
I wish you happy reading and crafting!