Top five toy safety tips
700 Children a Day Treated in Emergency Departments for Toy-Related Injury
The holiday season is here and for many children that means one thing – toys. Approximately 50 percent of all toy purchases in the United States occur between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas. While parents are on a mad-dash to scoop up the hottest toys, Susan A. Helms, Director of Injury Prevention and Safe Kids Mid-South, led by Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital, advises that safety should be at the top of their wish lists.
“It’s a great time to think about fun as well as safety by making sure toys are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity level. The first step is to read the warning label to make sure your child will be safe while playing with the new toy,” recommends Helms.
If secondhand toys are purchased, or received from friends or relatives, parents to visit www.cpsc.gov and make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons. Used toys should also be in good condition with all original parts and packaging, if possible. If a new toy comes with a product registration card, it is helpful for parents to mail it in so the manufacturer can contact you if the item is ever recalled.
In addition, Safe Kids Mid-South offers the following 5 toy safety tips.
- Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. Follow the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s just right for your child.
- Keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings.
- After play time is over, use a bin or container to store toys for next time. Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers.
- Keep button battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations.
- Stay informed about harmful products in the marketplace. Safe Kids makes it easy for you by sending an e-mail alert twice a month. Parents can sign up at www.safekids.org/product-recalls.