Choosing Safe Toys During The Holiday Season
This Year Give the Gift of Safe Toys
Get to know the best tips to give the gift of safe toys this Christmas and beyond! If you have a child in your life, then you know that watching kids open their presents on Christmas morning is the best part of the holidays. At Altus Emergency Centers and Altus Lumberton Hospital, it is our pleasure to bring you Choosing Safe Toys During The Holiday Season to keep them safe and well.
Toys are an important aspect of child development. Not only do they entertain, some can also help children develop their motor skills, and learn new things.
Sadly, not all toys are safe or age-appropriate, and this can lead to injuries. The most recent report by The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) revealed that in 2020:
- There were more than 198,000 toy-related injuries treated in emergency rooms across the country
- Kids under the age of 15 sustained most injuries (75%)
- The head/face areas were the most injured body parts, followed by arms and legs
- The most common toy-related injuries were lacerations (cuts), followed by contusions/abrasions, and fractures
- Non-motorized scooters and toy balls were the top toy categories associated with toy-related injuries
Toy Safety Guidelines
The CPSC monitors and regulates any toy made in or imported into the country. Since 1995 all toys must follow the Consumer Product Safety Commission standards which include:
- The fabric used to make toys must be flame resistant or flame retardant
- The paint used in toys must be lead-free
- Stuffed toys and dolls should be washable
- Art supplies including crayons and colors need to be labeled as non-toxic and say ASTM D-4236 on the package to guarantee the American Society for Testing and Materials has evaluated them
Even though regulations are in place to try and make toys safe for kids, there is still a lot we can do to prevent injuries.
When shopping for toys for your little ones, consider the following:
- Ask yourself if the toys are suitable for the age, abilities, skills, and interests of your child. Check the manufacturer’s label, if it’s not recommended for your kid’s age, don’t buy it!
- Toys should be large enough to prevent them from being swallowed or lodged in the windpipe. A good line is to avoid any toys that have parts smaller than 1¼ inches in diameter and 2¼inches in length
- Avoid giving marbles, or games with coins, chips, or balls that are less than 1.75 inches in diameter, as they can become lodged in the throat above the windpipe and make breathing difficult
- If you are gifting a battery-operated toy to a toddler, make sure the battery case has screws to prevent kids from prying them open. Batteries and battery fluid can cause serious injuries, including chemical burns, choking, and internal bleeding
- If your gift consists of Bicycles, scooters, skateboards, or inline skates, remember to also get the appropriate safety gear including helmets, as well as hand, wrist, and shin guards
Know Where to Go in Case of an Emergency.
Toy-Related Injuries That Need ER Care
Not every scrape or bruise will merit a trip to one of our ER centers. However, it’s always good to know when an injury does require ER care.
Bring your child in when:
- They fell and hit their head hard. If they show signs of a concussion, you should bring them in for an evaluation
- When they have a small toy part lodged in their nostrils or windpipe. Don’t delay if you notice the child has trouble breathing
- It looks like they might have broken a bone
This Holiday Season do your best to give the gift of safety to your loved ones. However, if your little ones get a little carried away with excitement and get hurt, you don’t need to worry.
Just remember all our centers offer specialized pediatric emergency care, and we will be open 24/7 during the holidays.