The holiday season is here! Spending time with family and friends, warming up next to the fireplace and eating lots of good food are just a few of things we are looking forward to. For many people it will also be time to start shopping for gifts (if you haven’t already).
A lot of children will be wishing for the latest and greatest new toys. With all of the excitement of celebrating the season with your kids, it’s important to keep safety in mind.
Injuries From Kids Toys
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPC), there were 256,700 toy-related injuries in the U.S. in 2013 among kids under the age of 15, and 29 percent of them were caused by non-motorized scooters. Bicycles and non-motorized scooters are the most common culprits when it comes to injuries in children. However, other toys can have hazards that may not seem so obvious. To help you identify these toys, the World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. (W.A.T.C.H) has published their 2015 list of the top 10 worst toys (PDF), which is updated each year before the holidays.
Safe Toy Tips
Amanda Simas, Child Life Specialist at UVA Children’s Hospital, gives the following advice for keeping your kids safe with their new toys:
- All toys are not safe for all children. It is important to look at the age suggestions on the packaging. If it says ages 6+ it is not safe for your four year old.
- When looking at toys with small parts, remember that if it can fit in a paper towel tube, the toy could be a choking hazard to a child less than three years of age.
- Toys with strings or ropes could be dangerous, too. If a toy has a string attached that is longer than seven inches, children should be supervised by an adult while playing with it to keep the string from wrapping around the child’s neck.
For more tips, see Simas’ interview with NBC29 on toy safety.
We hope all of our readers enjoy a happy, joyous and safe holiday season!