With the holidays behind us, now is a good time to check your children's toys for potential dangers. Children’s toys are associated with thousands of injuries each year, some of which can be serious. Children under the age of 3 are especially at risk. Injuries can range from falling to choking and even poisoning.
To avoid any potential dangers, parents should always examine toys carefully and read the labels, warnings and age recommendations. Supervising your child’s play, in addition to following the manufacturer’s recommendations, could save lives.
Toy Safety Checklist for Parents and Caregivers:
The manufacturer recommendations serve as a useful guide. Toys should be matched to a child’s abilities. A toy that is too advanced or too simple for a child may be misused, which can lead to injury. Be sure to teach your child the correct way to use each toy.
Think BIG when choosing toys. A good rule of thumb is to make sure all toys and parts are bigger than your child’s mouth to prevent injuries, including choking. Any toy that can fit through the hole of a toilet paper roll is too small for an infant or toddler and poses a choking hazard.
Avoid toys made with toxic materials. Be sure the label says “nontoxic.”
Prevent serious eye or ear injury. Avoid toys that shoot small objects into the air, or make loud or shrill noises.
Look for sturdy toy construction. The eyes, nose and other small parts on soft toys and stuffed animals should be securely fastened to the toy. Avoid toys with sharp edges.
Never buy hobby kits, such as chemistry sets, for any child younger than 12 years old, and always provide proper supervision for children 12 to 15 years of age.
Helmets should be worn with ALL ride-on toys. If it has wheels, you should be wearing a helmet!
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About Shannon Hood, CCLS
Shannon Hood has worked for CHKD for 15 years and serves as manager of CHKD’s child life program
. She is a certified child life specialist as well as a certified therapeutic recreation specialist with her primary focus devoted to CHKD’s neonatal intensive care unit
and CHKD’s rehabilitation program