Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness month to help ensure that all children are only given toys that are safe for them to enjoy. In recognition of the event, here is some information every parent needs this holiday season and all year long.
Toy-Related Injury Statistics
According to the US Consumer Products Safety Commission, American hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 alone, with 72 percent of those injuries being sustained by kids under the age of 15, clearly demonstrating the need for increased awareness.
Additionally, in 2007, companies recalled over 19 million toys due to safety concerns, including the presence of toxic items, like lead paint, and small magnets, which could cause significant harm if swallowed.
Safety Tips to Keep in Mind This Holiday Season
Why the US Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) has a strong testing program designed to help keep children safe, parents should also be vigilant when it comes to giving their kids toys.
First, you need to select toys that are appropriate for your child’s age group, as those designed for older kids may contain small parts, magnets, ropes, cords, heating elements, or other features that aren’t appropriate for a young child.
Additionally, all toys should be inspected prior to purchase and immediately after opening. This gives you a chance to identify damaged parts or issues of concern, like small pieces that could be swallowed, before the item is placed in the hand of your child.
If you give a sport-related gift or riding toy, make sure to also provide safety gear to protect your child from harmful falls. Further, discard any packaging, like plastic wrapping, that could be harmful.
Observe any warning labels associated with the product and make sure to put the proper precautionary measures in place, and look for labeling that shows the toy has passed a safety inspection, such as the ATSM label from the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
How to Observe Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Aside from making sure that any new toys or gifts meet the necessary safety standards, you can also observe Safe Toys and Gifts month by examining your child’s current toys to make sure they are in good condition and don’t pose any unnecessary risks. This can include checking to see if any recalls have been issued for items your child already owns as well as looking for damaged or broken toys that may be hazardous.
Our Dallas family dentist office wants everyone to have a joyful holiday season, so consider observing Safe Toys and Gifts month with your family to make sure everyone is safer now and into the next year.