Christmas is probably the most exciting time of the year for children. Toys and games are tons of fun for kids (and adults). Whether your kids are working on a puzzle, playing with building blocks, or trying out that awesome new electronic device, here are some toy safety tips to help them stay safe and for your family to have a happier holiday.
Hard Facts about Toy Safety
● In 2017, 184,000 children under the age of 15 years were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries.
● That’s 504 kids every day. Almost half of those injured were children 5 and under.
Top Tips about Toy Safety
● Make sure the toys are age-appropriate. Read the instructions and warning labels to make sure the toy is just right for your child.
● Once the gifts are opened, quickly discard plastic wrapping.
● Look for toys with sturdy construction and avoid items with sharp edges and points.
● Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest,
and keep older kids’ toys away from young children.
● Use a bin or container to store toys when playtime is over. Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers.
● To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, avoid giving young children (under age 10)
a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
● Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. This could be a
strangulation hazard for babies.
Choking: Choking is one of the leading causes of toy-related death. Most of these deaths are attributed to toys, balls, latex balloons, and small magnets.
● Check to make sure there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards before you settle on the perfect toy.
● Small items can be risky for young children. For children under age three, choose toys that are at least 1 inch in diameter and 2 inches long, so they will not lodge in a child’s mouth or throat.
● Be careful with button batteries found in toys. If ingested, they can become lodged in the esophagus and cause serious injury and even death.
● Beware of toy jewelry that may contain lead or cadmium. Both substances can be harmful to children who put items containing these chemicals into their mouths.
● Separate toys by age and keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a
choking hazard for young children. Toys intended for older children may pose a risk to younger, curious siblings.
● Be extra cautious about toys that are handed down from friends and relatives that may not have warning labels. Inspect these toys carefully.
● High-power magnets can be found in some toys. If a child ingests more than one, the magnets can attract to one another and result in serious injury or even death. Seek medical attention if your child ingests one or more magnets.
Following these simple safety guidelines can help you and your family have a happy and safe holiday. If you’d like more information about your children’s toys, you can sign-up for the latest recall information.