Did you know that in 2012, approximately 192,000 children were treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury? In fact, more than one-third of those injured were under 5 years old.
Holiday shopping is in full swing and store shelves are filled with all the popular toys for children. But are these popular toys the safest options for your kids? To ensure you are buying the safest toys this holiday season, here are a few tips and examples of popular, safe toys.
General Toy Safety Tips
When buying toys for children of any age, it’s important to use your best judgment. Take the time to read the instructions and warning labels. Use the following tips to take extra precautions:
- Check recall lists for toys.
- Choking hazards are one of the leading causes of injury during this time of year. Keep a special eye on small parts or game pieces.
- Even if the toy is meant for an older sibling, keep an eye out to make sure a younger sibling doesn’t get a hold of any potentially age-inappropriate toys.
- After playtime is over, be sure to put the items away into a toy storage container until next time. This will discourage children from playing with toys unsupervised.
Safe Toys for Infants and Toddlers
The age-specific guidelines for choosing toys for infants and toddlers is more extensive than any other age group. These are the most important things to keep in mind:
- Toys should be at least three centimeters in diameter so they aren’t able to be swallowed.
- Marbles and games that include balls are best left for older age groups
- Make sure battery operated games are very secure. Batteries and battery fluid can pose risks for all children.
- Infants and toddlers like to chew on toys. Make sure toys are BPA, phthalate and lead-free.
Best Toys for Grade-Schoolers
Even though safety rules for grade-schoolers aren’t as much of an issue as safety toys for infants and toddlers, there are some guidelines to follow when holiday shopping.
- If you purchase a scooter or bicycle for a child, make sure you also get a helmet and other safety gear.
- Make sure toy guns cannot be mistaken for real weapons. Also, BB guns or pellet rifles should not be given to children under the age of 16.
If you have any questions about toy safety or anything regarding your child’s health, don’t hesitate to give us a call. We hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday season!