Five Tips for Holiday Toy Safety

December 22, 2011

Holiday gift-giving is kicking into high gear, and for parents of young children this isn’t just the most wonderful time of the year – it can also be one of the most nerve-wracking.  There were more than 250,000 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2010, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

So many toys…so many potential hazards.  From lead poisoning, to toy recalls, to flammable or toxic materials, there are many things to look out for when purchasing safe, appropriate toys for the little ones on your shopping list.

With a little research, you can arm yourself with tips that will make shopping for safe toys easier, and you can keep an eye out for recall information throughout the season.

But once the gifts are open, then what?  The following are some safety tips for parents to keep in mind this month:

 1.  Make sure you discard all wrapping paper, boxes, ribbons, product packaging and tools like scissors or box cutters before your children have the opportunity to eat, get tangled in or get hurt by them.

2.  Double check that the toys are age appropriate.  Be on the lookout for choking hazards, cords that are a strangulation risk, or even loud toys that are too loud! Also check the condition of the toys (even when they’re brand new) for paint, splinters and toxins.

3.  You’re in charge of battery installation/changing! All battery compartments should have screws to keep them closed – and the batteries away from your child.  Be especially mindful of disc batteries.  If your child ingests one, seek medical attention immediately.

4.  Scooters, roller blades and other sporting equipment are tons of fun – just make sure your child wears the appropriate helmet and other padding at all times to protect him or herself from injuries.  Resist the temptation to just let them “try them out” quickly without the proper safety equipment.

5.  Beware of hand-me-down toys.  Sentimental, yes! But potentially dangerous? Also yes!  My 2-year-old daughter loves to play with Little People (remember those?) at Grandma and Grandpa’s house – the same ones that my sister and I used to play with when we were little.  We have to watch her carefully, because older toys like these are often smaller and may have been painted with lead paint.

With a healthy dose of caution and some planning, you and your family should have no problems having a fun—and safe!—holiday season this year.

Happy holidays!

Dr. Lloyd is moving!

On May 21st, 2018, she joined Portland Pediatrics! Her new office is located at:
Portland Pediatrics- Webster Office
(behind the Holt Road Wegmans)
1110 Crosspointe Lane, Suite D
Webster, NY 14580
Phone: 585.872.3390

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