Toy Safety Tips from Via Christi health

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The holiday season is here and for many children that means one thing – toys. Approximately 50% 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, safety should be at the top of their wish lists. According to Safe Kids, in 2010, an estimated 181,500 toy-related injuries in children ages 14 years and younger were treated in hospital emergency rooms across the United States. With the federal toy safety standards passed by Congress in 2008, parents can be reassured that the vast majority of toys on store shelves are safe.

Top tips for making sure children’s toys are safe during this holiday season are:

  • Before shopping for toys, consider the child’s age, interest and skill level. A fun, but inappropriate toy for a particular child can be dangerous.
  • Make sure toys intended for older children are stored separately from those for younger children. 
  • Children can choke on small toys and toy parts. Keep toys with small parts away from children under age 3, and check toys regularly for damage that could create small pieces that are choking hazards. 
  • Actively supervise children when they are playing with riding toys as well as any toy that has small parts, magnets, electrical or battery power, cords and strings, wheels or any other potential hazard. Active supervision means keeping the child in sight and in reach while paying undivided attention. 
  • Avoid letting children play with electronic devices that are only attended for adults such as key fobs, mini remote controls, watches, flameless candles, singing greeting cards, etc.  Many of these items contain coin-sized button batteries, which can be deadly if ingested, and should be kept out of reach if battery compartments are not secure. 
  • Know the risks associated with children swallowing coin-sized button batteries and know which devices in your home contain these types of batteries.  Go to the emergency room immediately if you suspect a child has swallowed a battery. 

Parents can check for recalled children’s products.


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