Whether you are a parent, grandparent or loved one, odds are you will be purchasing a toy this holiday for a little boy or girl. The joy and happiness a child expresses when opening a present is priceless and this should be an image forever ingrained in our hearts. However, many gift givers don’t realize the potential danger of toys.
It seems a bit far-fetched, but it is true! Over 3 billion toys and games are sold each year. Children 5 and under face a significant risk of injury or death, with certain toys, when left unattended. The most common injury and cause of death is due to choking (especially for children 3 years and under). However, the dangers of toys don’t stop there. Toys have caused children to fall, suffer broken bones, sustain burns, suffocate, drown and poisoning.
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According to safekids.org, in 2013, 9 children died and over 188,000 children were treated in emergency rooms for toy related accidents. These statistics don’t account for the thousands of undocumented incidents parents found and handled without formal medical care.
Unfortunately, when a child receives a gift, the last thing on parents’ minds is to check the hazards or warnings regarding the product. Therefore, to make sure that your children remain safe and keep the holiday joy alive; here are a few tips to follow:
- When choosing a toy or game, check all of the hazards and warnings regarding the product. Make your best judgment as to whether the toy is age appropriate.
- Before making your final decision, take a glance at online reviews. Check to see if there were any safety concerns posted by other parents. To find any product recalls, visit the S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s Recall Listing.
- Look for small pieces. If the toy has several small pieces than it should not be given to a child below the age of five (5).
- Have a designated area for all toys. Make sure that all containers holding toys are on a sturdy surface. Toys designated for older children should be placed out of arms-reach so that younger children are not injured.
- Toys for older kids can contain batteries, which can be extremely hazardous to younger children. When older children are finished playing, parents should see that toys containing batteries are stored in a dry safe place.
Keeping these tips in mind will keep you off the naughty list and provide a little more joy in someone’s life. Don’t forget to check back with the Consumer Product Safety Commission for the most up to date recalls. Happy giving!!