Toys and the holidays go hand-in-hand, but overlooking toy safety during the holidays could land you in the ER instead of huddled around the fire on Christmas morning. Here are some simple tips to ensure your holidays are the merriest yet!
Age Appropriate Toys
Many new toys come with a suggested age group. While your child might be more advanced than others, consider this: those ratings are based on potential hazards (i.e. choking), not cognitive function. Another major hazard for children of all age groups is the often times rigid plastic packaging toys come in. When in doubt, open the packaging for your children.
Infants, Toddlers and Preschool Aged Children
Ensure toys are large enough to where they cannot be lodged in the child’s windpipe. The US Consumer Product Safety Commission, or CPSC, recommends a minimum diameter of 3 centimeters and 6 centimeters wide (1.25” x 2.25”). Examples of items that do not meet this standard include: marbles, coins, accessories on dolls, and board games with small pieces.
- Toys should be durable/unbreakable for children who are teething.
- Be sure to check batteries are secured by screws and cannot be removed.
- Always check for parts that could become loose or break off.
Grade School Aged Children
Look for CPSC and Snell Helmet Certifications on the labels of toys and helmets for this age group. Children riding bikes, skateboards, snowboards, skis, scooters and inline skates should always wear a helmet. Playing Cowboys and Indians later? Make sure that your child’s play gun is clearly marked with a bright orange tip. Arrows should be soft and clearly “play” arrows. Is your kid the next Bill Gates? Be sure to check for Underwriters Laboratories labels on electronic toys.
Whether your child is playing with their first toy, or practicing kick-flips on their first skateboard, supervision goes a long way. Always check labels for UL, Snell and the marked age group when purchasing toys and helmets. Periodically checking the integrity of toys can help prevent future injuries. Helping your children clean up toys can prevent injuries as well. Have a happy and safe holiday season, from your friends at EMS Safety Services.