During the holidays, millions of people purchase toys for their little ones. Toys are fun but they can also be dangerous if played with by children younger than the recommended ages. Each year, the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission issues some tips for toy safety. Keep these in mind before you go shopping for holiday presents for youngsters.
Step 1: Choose toys that are age-appropriate. Read the packaging to find manufacturer-recommended ages for use. Use this, rather than the child’s desire for the toy, to determine if the item is appropriate.
Step 2: When purchasing ride-on toys or sports-style gifts, also buy the safety gear. Purchase helmets and pads to go with products like scooters, skates, and bicycles.
Step 3: When children are playing with their new toys, be aware of the surroundings. Ride-on toys should not be used near a body of water, traffic, or hazardous terrain. When playing inside, children should avoid areas like bathrooms and kitchens. They should also not play near rooms that have corded window blinds.
Step 4: Consider that toys like skates, skateboards, and riding toys go fast and a fall can be fatal.
Step 5: If purchasing a gift for a child under age three, do not buy toys containing balls or small parts that can cause choking.
Step 6: Broken or deflated balloons can cause children to suffocate or choke. If a balloon breaks, discard it. Deflated balloons should be kept away from children younger than eight.
Step 7: Children younger than six should not have play or building sets that contain small magnets. Swallowing either the magnet or a piece containing a magnet can result in serious injuries or death.
Step 8: After the gifts have been opened, discard the packaging before children can begin playing with it.
Step 9: If batteries must be charged, supervise the process to eliminate overcharging and prevent young children from getting thermal burns.