Christmas Toy Safety

Everyone gets very excited this time of year for the giving and receiving of gifts, especially when it comes to the little ones in our families. We need to make sure that the gifts we are giving are safe, as to avoid inuries, or worse, death. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, these are the top tips to avoid toy tragedies.

When buying toys:

  1. Choose toys with care. Keep in mind the child’s age, interests and skill level.

  2. Look for quality design and construction in all toys for all ages.

  3. Make sure that all directions or instructions are clear - to you and, when appropriate, to the child. Plastic wrappings on toys should be discarded at once before they become deadly playthings.

  4. Be a label reader. Look for and heed age recommendations, such as “Not recommended for children under three.” Look for other safety labels including: “Flame retardant/Flame resistant” on fabric products and “Washable/hygienic materials” on stuffed toys and dolls.

When maintaining toys:

  1. Check all toys periodically for breakage and potential hazards. A damaged or dangerous toy shouldbe thrown away or repaired immediately.

  2. Edges on wooden toys that might have become sharp or surfaces covered with splinters should be sanded smooth. Examine all outdoor toys regularly for rust or weak parts that could become hazardous.

When storing toys:

  1. Teach children to put their toys safely away on shelves or in a toy chest after playing to prevent trips and falls.

  2. Toy boxes, too, should be checked for safety. Use a toy chest that has a lid that will stay open in any position to which it is raised, and will not fall unexpectedly on a child. For extra safety, be sure there are ventilation holes for fresh air. Watch for sharp edges that could cut and hinges that could pinch or squeeze. See that toys used outdoors are stored after play - rain or dew can rust or damage a variety of toys and toy parts creating hazards.

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  • by Christine Streich
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