December is the biggest gift-giving month of the year and many children begin to get excited about the gifts they hope to receive. However, December is also a time to participate in National Safe Toys and Gifts Month. While you’re out shopping for the little ones in your life, you’ll want to make sure you’re choosing safe toys.
Here our Bayless team takes a look at how to shop safely during this holiday season.
Common Toy-Related Injuries
Close to 200,000 toy-related accidents occur each year and in some cases, these injuries can be fatal. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), children under 12 accounted for 70% of toy-related injuries in 2018. Additionally, CPSC reported 17 toy-related deaths among children younger than 15 years old
More often than not, children will become injured from falling or tripping over toys. Some of the most common toy-related injuries are lacerations, soft tissue injuries, and fractures or dislocations. Children under 5 are more likely to become injured from swallowing or ingesting small objects. Other injuries such as sprains, fractures, or dislocations are seen mostly in older kids between the ages of 6 and 15.
How Parents Can Increase Toy Safety
To keep the holidays feeling magical, it’s important to make safety a top priority. It’s best to supervise children while playing with a new toy, especially if it is a toy they are unfamiliar with. Here are a few other ways to keep your children safe during the holiday season.
Purchase Protective Gear
It’s common for children to fall off their bikes, skateboards, or motorized scooters without the proper instruction or directions. It’s always a great idea to purchase the appropriate safety equipment when gifting a new toy. Knees, elbow pads, and helmets can often reduce the risk of a severe injury if an accident occurs.
Other toys like bb guns, products with rubber bands, and other weapon-related toys can increase the risk of eye injuries. We recommend making sure children wear proper protective eyewear when using these toys. Along with this, always make sure the toys you purchase are age-appropriate for your kids.
While you’re out browsing for new toys, be sure to inspect your items and read its label. Make sure that all toys meet the American Society for Testing and Materials standards (ASTM).
You should also avoid toys that are manufactured with lead. More often than not, older toys will contain lead, but you’ll also want to keep for newer toys that have been recalled due to potential lead exposure.
Beware of Dangerous Objects for Small Children
It’s best to steer clear of toys with sharp edges or small parts if you are buying gifts for small children. Toddlers are prone to putting small objects in their mouths and can easily ingest toys like magnets and batteries, increasing the risk of choking. It’s always best to check the age and skill requirements to make sure it is safe for the child to use.
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