|Keeping 'Em Safe Today and Everyday |
With the holiday season upon us, this is a wonderful time of year to note the safety of toys. Seventy-five percent of all toys are purchased during the holiday season. Just because something is a toy, does not mean it is 100% safe. According to Prevent Blindness America, more than 14,000 eye injuries are treated in emergency rooms annually, and toys are the number one cause of eye injuries in children. It's also not the latest and greatest toys which account for these injuries. Bikes, skates, tricycles, trucks, cars and wagons accounted for more than 150,000 injuries requiring an emergency room visit. Ironically, 150,000 is the same number of toys that are typically available for purchase each holiday season too.
Selecting an Appropriate Toy
There are several key features to look for when selecting a toy for a child.
- All toys are rated according to the age for which they are recommended. Don't ignore the age marked on the package - this feature could protect your child from the accidental ingestion of a small part, a toy that could pinch, break or sever a small finger, or a hard fall.
- Make sure toys for young children are labeled non-toxic, are washable and do not have small parts.
- Do not select toys that must be thrown, those with small parts, sharp corners/edges, or no volume control.
- Read all warnings and take heed of them.
- Select products that meet the safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM.)
Keeping Them Safe
Parents and/or care-givers should check toys for appropriateness - often.
- Take the time to show the child how to use the toy and monitor their playtime for compliance.
- Check toys and toy chests for broken parts, sharp objects, overheating and any potential problems.
- Remove any broken toys immediately, fix them or discard them as needed.
- Make sure toys are used in their appropriate environment.
- Despite the age marking, some children may not be ready to use a toy yet, don't be afraid to save a toy for use at a later age.
Report any dangerous toy to:
Office of Clearinghouse, U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission
Washington, D.C. 20207
Via email: https://www.cpsc.gov/incident.html
Via phone at: (800) 638-2772