2011-12-15 / Features

How To Keep Children Safe This Holiday Season

You have scanned the hot holiday toys lists, located those perfect classic toys with a new twist, and stood in line for hours to purchase gifts that will bring laughter and joy to your home this year. Before you fill the stockings and wrap the gifts the Pennsylvania Association for the Blind wants to make sure you consider the safety of each toy.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries related to toys created close to 186,000 injuries that required emergency room treatment for those ages 15 and younger in 2009. The majority of the injuries were to the head and face, including the eyes.

The following tips will help keep your children safe this holiday season;

Consider the size of the toy

For toddlers and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small, or sharp parts. These parts could be swallowed and could pose a fatal choking hazard. As a test, if any part of the toy can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is considered a hazard and not appropriate for children under the age of 3.

Make sure a toy doesn’t have any blunt edges that have points. These toys could puncture the skin or eyes. Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off. BB Guns and air guns should not even be considered toys!

Check the label

Look for labels that give age recommendations and warnings. Look for any toxic substances that may be painted on the toy and check instructions for clarity.

Discard plastic wrapping and strings

Immediately discard plastic wrapping on toys and avoid all toys with strings. Plastic wrapping may have sharp edges and could cause suffocation, while strings can be very dangerous if the string gets wrapped around your child’s neck.

Protect your child with gear

Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear. 90% of all sports-related eye injuries could have been prevented simple by using appropriate eye protection.

For additional helpful tips on choosing toys for children with special needs, isit www.pablind.org.

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