According to the United Sates Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), toys caused an estimated 254,200 emergency injuries associated in 2015, 73% of which involved children younger than age 15. World Against Toys Causing Harm, Inc. reported that the 2016 top 10 worst toys for children are suspected to cause choking, suffocation, eye and facial injuries, impact injuries, puncture wounds, strangulation, and ingestion injuries.
Keep your loved ones safe this holiday season by giving gifts that follow these guidelines:
- Beware choking hazards: Children under three are most susceptible to choking on pieces from small toys. Purchase only toddler-approved toys to avoid this. You can also do an at-home, small-pieces test by trying to push the toy through the core of a toilet paper roll. If the toy can fit, it’s too small. Sign up for El Camino Hospital’s Infant/Child CPR course to learn how to recognize signs of choking, how to resuscitate, and use the 911 emergency system.
- Purchase age-appropriate toys: Give gifts that hold your child’s interest and match your child’s skill level. Follow age and safety recommendations on the toy’s label and look out for toys that may be too small or complex for your child’s age.
- Teach your child road safety: According to the CPSC, 36% of toy-related injuries and 45% of toy-related deaths involved riding toys last year. All deaths and many injuries involved the child being struck by a motor vehicle while on the toy. To prevent this, do not let your children play on roads and teach them to look and listen for cars. Have your child wear a helmet if riding a moving toy, and don’t let them ride outside after dark.
- Inspect toy parts: Refrain from purchasing toys with ropes, cords, sharp edges or points, heating elements, lead, or easily breakable pieces. When buying crayons, markers or paint, be sure you are purchasing brands that have a “nontoxic” label.
- Include protective equipment: When purchasing gifts involving sports, be sure to also include pads, helmets, gloves, and other protective equipment.
- Keep a look out for toy recalls: The CPSC frequently updates a list of toy recalls. Stay current with potentially hazardous products for the safety of your family.