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Healthy Living

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Choosing Safe Toys and Gifts

toys

Parents need to be vigilant to reduce the risk of toy-related injuries. The following steps can help:

  • Buy toys suited to the child's age, ability, skill, and interest level. Toys that are intended for older or more skilled children may pose safety hazards to younger children.

  • Avoid toys with small parts for infants, toddlers, and all children who still put objects in their mouths. To be sure the toy parts aren't too small, follow the age limits listed on the package and consider purchasing a small parts container, available at most toy and baby specialty stores. (If a toy or part fits into the container, it is a choking hazard.)

  • Avoid toys with sharp edges and points, as well as electric toys with heating elements, for all children age 8 and under.

  • Buy Mylar balloons instead of latex to reduce the risk of choking.

  • Avoid toys with strings, cords, or straps longer than 7 inches, which may pose a risk of strangulation for young children.

  • Teach children to put toys away after playing with them. Safe storage prevents falls and keeps toys designed for older kids out of the reach of younger ones.

  • Use gifts of bicycles, in-line skates, scooters, and skateboards as opportunities to teach your children about safe riding. Make the appropriate safety gear, such as a helmet, reflective clothing, and elbow and knee pads, part of your gift.

gifts

Related Article

December Is "Safe Toys and Gifts" Month

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