Did you know that December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month?
In December, many children may receive gifts for various cultural and religious holidays. It is important for parents and caregivers to be aware of the safety and appropriate age ranges for toys that they may give to babies, toddlers, and older children in order to prevent injury or death.
Here are some tips for choosing safe toys for children:
- Consider the child’s age, interests and skill level. Look for quality design and construction, and follow age and safety recommendations on labels.
- Use a small parts tester to determine whether small toys may present a choking hazard to children under age 3. Small parts testers can be purchased at toy or baby specialty stores or you can use the cardboard core of a toilet paper roll – if a toy can pass through, it is too small for young children and may cause them to choke if swallowed.
- Avoid toys with sharp points or edges, toys that produce loud noises, and projectiles (such as darts).
- Avoid toys with strings, straps or cords longer than 7 inches that may pose a risk for strangulation for young children.
- Avoid electrical toys with heating elements for children under age 8.
- Avoid cap guns that use caps that can be ignited by the slightest friction and can cause serious burns.
Remember these facts about safety!
- Falls and choking cause most toy-related deaths and injuries in children. Choking alone causes one third of all toy-related deaths – most often from balloons.
- Children 4 years old and younger account for almost half of all toy-related injuries and almost all deaths.
- Children younger than age 3 are at the greatest risk of choking because they tend to put objects – especially toys – in their mouths.