Toys and games are lots of holiday fun for kids. Whether your kids are working on a puzzle, playing with building blocks, or riding a scooter, here are some tips to stay safe during this festive time of year.
Unfortunately, toys can cause injuries. In 2016, over 174,000 children under the age of 15 were seen in an emergency department for toy-related injuries. That is almost 500 kids a day and half of those injured children were 5 and under. Toys such as cap guns, hoverboards, magnetic toys, and small toys that present choking hazards are all products that should be used with caution. All toys should be appropriate for a child’s age and stage of development as this reduces the risk that it could cause injury.
Here are some tips to keep your children safe around toys:
1. Check to make sure there are no small parts or potential choking hazards before you settle on a toy.
2. Separate toys by age and keep a special eye on game pieces that may be a choking hazard.
3. If you are considering a digital device for a child or a teen such as a tablet, smartphone or game system, think about the purpose for the device and the rules you want to set around its use.
4. Be cautious about toys containing batteries or magnets as these can cause serious stomach, throat or intestinal problems if ingested.
5. To prevent burns and shocks, do not give children under age 10 a toy that must be plugged into an outlet.
6. Remove tags, strings, ribbons from toys before giving them to young children, and watch for pull strings that are more than 12 inches long as they can be a strangulation hazard for babies.
7. Make sure to read the warning label and all instructions and keep toys in a designated storage area when they are not being used.
If you have questions on what toys would be appropriate for your children, various websites can direct you to the perfect holiday gift. The American Academy of Pediatrics has a list of safe toy suggestions on its website. Safe Kids Worldwide and KidsHealth.org also have helpful pointers.
The holiday season should be a safe one for the entire family. Toy related injuries can be prevented with a little bit of caution and preparation.
This blog is written by Firm Partner Jeff Gordon.