Giving a gift to a child during the holidays is one of the best feelings. While buying the hottest toy of the year might seem like a no-brainer, it’s important to take it a step further and think about a child’s safety before making the purchase.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), more than 120,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries each year.
But thanks to the CPSC and their stringent rules, toys are safer than they've ever been.
Before purchasing a gift for a child, ask yourself the following questions:
Is it appropriate for the child’s age and abilities?
Check the recommended age level on the box and follow the suggestions.
Does the child still put things in their mouth?
If so, stay away from toys with small pieces and those labeled as potential choking hazards. Wondering how to tell on your own if a toy is too small? Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles suggests a simple test with a toilet paper roll. If the toy can fit down the tube, it’s a choking hazard.
Are there younger children in the house?
Just because a present is appropriate for one child, doesn’t mean it still isn’t a danger to another child in the house.
Where does the toy’s power come from?
To avoid burns and electric shock, The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children under the age of 10 should stick to battery powered toys. Save the toys that must be plugged into an electric outlet for older kids -- and make sure the toy is ‘UL’ approved.
Is the toy well made?
Healthychildren.org suggests you should make sure all the parts are tight, and seams and edges are secure. They also recommend avoiding toys that have small bean-like pellets or stuffing, as they can cause choking or suffocation if swallowed.
Buying a bike?
Make a helmet a part of the gift!
Does the toy contain button batteries and/or magnets?
According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems – including death – after swallowing button batteries or magnets. Avoid toys that include these.
By thinking about safety hazards when picking out the perfect toy from a child’s wish list, you can rest assured knowing you did your part to keep the kids on your list jolly this holiday season!