It’s the time of year when many children will be unwrapping gifts with delight. It’s also an important time of year to keep safety in mind. In 2016, emergency rooms nationwide treated an estimated 240,000 toy-related injuries. So keep the holidays merry and bright by following these toy safety tips:
- Read any warning labels and instructions to ensure that the toy is appropriate for your child’s age.
- Check toys and games for any small pieces that could be choking hazards for young children. Don’t forget about hard plastic eyes or noses attached to stuffed animals or dolls, as well as toys stuffed with beans or pellets that could come out. As a general rule, if an object fits through the tube of a toilet paper roll, it’s too small for babies and toddlers.
- Keep batteries, especially the flat, round button batteries, out of the reach of children. If swallowed, a button battery can be deadly within a few hours. If you suspect that your child has swallowed a battery or magnet, go to the hospital immediately.
- If you purchase a bike, skateboard, scooter, skates, or other riding equipment, be sure to include safety gear and a certified helmet as well.
- Remove tags, string, or ribbon from toys before giving them to children. Babies can easily get caught and strangled in long strings or ribbon.
- If you use a toy box, choose one without a lid or a non-locking lid and ventilation holes. Children can climb inside toy boxes and become trapped. Also avoid boxes with hinges or small holes that could catch little fingers.
- Check www.recalls.gov for any recalls on products related to children.
Learn more toy safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics.