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Oh, what a joy. The Holiday Season is here, and with Christmas comes gift-giving. This safe toys and gifts month, it is vital to recognize how to choose and receive safe gifts for your children to prevent possible injuries. Please consider looking at this guideline for the DO’s and DON’T’S of gift-giving and obtaining.
- Read labels: Children should receive appropriate gifts for their age group. Read the toy’s label to ensure that your child is playing with an age-appropriate toy. It is also crucial that the toy has passed the American Society for Testing and Materials standards (ATSM) safety inspection.
- Buy sturdy plastic toys: If you are going to purchase a toy made out of plastic, you should ensure that it is sturdy. These plastic toys can break and become hazardous to children.
- Avoid loud toys: Loud Toys can damage a child’s hearing and should be avoided altogether.
- Stick to the larger toys: All toys given to your child or another child must be substantially larger than the child’s mouth. Toys that are too small can become a choking hazard, especially for a younger child.
- Avoid projectile launching toys: Toys that shoot objects into the air can become a hazard to not only a child’s eye but anyone around them. Avoiding these toys can keep children and others away from eye injuries.
- Consider interactive toys for children with special needs: Interactive toys that combine different senses such as; movement, texture, and sound can benefit a child with special needs.
- Toy’s with toxic chemicals: DO NOT purchase a toy with any harmful chemical that can poison a child. When buying or receiving paint, markers, and crayons, read the box and ensure it is labeled ‘non-toxic.’ Be sure to become educated on toys containing lead. If you have concerns about a toy or suspect your child has been exposed to lead poisoning, call 911 immediately.
- Heated toys, toys with cords, or ropes: DO NOT purchase toys that can be heated, have long cables or ropes. All of these toys can potentially be extremely dangerous for children.
- Toys with small parts: Children should NEVER be given toys with small pieces, especially younger kids who inevitably put objects in their mouths. Many small toys contain button batteries which can cause severe injury and even death.
- Crib toys: You should never purchase a crib toy with soft objects as they can become a suffocation, strangulation, or entrapment hazard. Mobiles and hanging crib toys should NEVER be within a baby’s reach, and all toys should be kept out of an infant’s crib. Parents need to educate themselves on SIDS prevention to keep their children safe.
- High-powered magnetic toys: High-powered magnetic toys should be AVOIDED at all costs. If a magnetic toy is ingested, it can be life-threatening to a young child. If your child has swallowed a toy with a magnet, you must seek immediate medical attention for them.
Gifting and receiving toys is such a fun part of the holidays. However, with thousands of children being injured by toys every year, it is essential for parents and gift-givers to be aware of what is safe and what isn’t when gifting receiving toys. We hope that our DO’s and DONT’S lists for this Safe Toys and Gifts Month gave you some insight into recognizing safe toys for the little ones. Remember always to inspect all toys that your child receives, and if a toy has injured your child, please seek immediate medical attention. The office of Dr. Alfonso J. Henriquez is here for children and their families. To schedule an appointment at our office, please call 561-275-7100.