It’s that time of year once again when parents begin the lookout for something their children will love for the holidays. There are many toys in the world, but only a few things your child will love. But, as a parent, you want to make sure that the toy you purchase for your child is safe. But do you know what toys are safe for your children? Well, thanks to the National Safe Kids Campaign and the National Safety Council, there’s a month each year-December-that is dedicated to keeping your child’s holiday toy time safe. And just in time because December is when gifts and toys that can be dangerous are given in abundance, thanks to the holiday season. When parents think of purchasing a toy for their child however, they often don’t think of the chance that the toy they are purchasing for their children and the toy that has been placed on the shelf and okayed for consumption can harm their child. But, there are a few different things that you should watch for when choosing a toy for a specific age group. Here are some tips from the National Safe Kids Campaign that you should use when choosing a toy for your child this holiday season
Be sure to consider how old your child is, his interests and how skilled he is with the toys he already has. This is a great indicator of what he can handle for a next toy. And always follow the age recommendations, especially if you have a very young child.
When you are purchasing a toy that has small parts, be sure to test it by using a small parts tester, or by simply using the cardboard section of a toilet paper roll. If a removable part, or a part that your child may be able to pull off or chew off can fit through the cardboard section, you can be sure that it is a choking hazard, and that your baby should not play with it.
One important thing to consider, says preventblindness.org, is to never purchase toys that shoot or include parts that fly off, especially for young children. Even purchasing a toy like this for an older child may still cause harm to someone younger.
Toys with straps, strings, or anything loose and longer than 7 inches can cause a strangulation hazard for any child and should be avoided.
Though this may seem pretty standard, be sure to check each and every toy for a hazard. But, the most important part of Safe Toys and Gifts Month is for the parent to always supervise the child when he or she is playing with any toys, even those which you have deemed safe. Here are just a few statistics showing the dangers of unsafe toys, according to hap.org. Choking causes a third of all deaths related to toys and the most common culprit is balloons. Children that are 4 years and younger are more likely to die of toy-related deaths and any deaths due to toys are from that age range. Lastly, children younger than age 3 are at the greatest risk of choking because they tend to put objects in their mouths.
To keep all children safe, consider yearly checkups and screenings to ensure that you child is healthy and growing as he or she should be. And as always, consider what toys you give your children carefully. For more information, and to read all about Safe Toys and Gifts Month, see kidsheath.org