The holiday season is upon us, which makes it prime time for toy buying. In fact, more than 65 percent of the toys and games sold in the United States each year are purchased between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas. While the majority of toys are safe, thanks in part to stronger federal rules and higher standards from toy makers, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reports that in 2015 alone more than 250,000 children throughout the country were treated in hospital emergency departments for toy-related injuries.
“Toys have changed over the years and the assortment can be astounding, particularly to those who haven’t shopped for kids in a while,” said Rebecca Layton, a pediatric wellness and safety expert at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. “Child safety, however, never goes out of style. It is something parents and family members should always keep in mind when selecting gifts for youngsters.”
Layton notes that appropriate selection and proper use of toys, combined with parental supervision, can greatly reduce the incidence and severity of toy-related injuries.
When selecting gifts this holiday season, be sure to:
Layton adds that riding toys should not be used near stairs, traffic or swimming pools, and that parents can use the cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper to identify small toy parts that are potential choking hazards. “Small children should not play with anything that can fit into one of these cylinders.”
A Gift is Not Complete Unless Proper Protective Gear is Included
Bicycles, skates, scooters and skateboards are popular gifts for the holidays, but if children lack the proper protective gear or skills, injury and death can occur.
To keep kids safe whenever they “wheel” around, be sure to:
Kids sometimes are reluctant to wear protective gear, insisting that they are good riders or complain that none of their friends wear them. But Layton urges parents to resist that temptation, and notes “requiring children to wear a helmet every time, everywhere they go, is the best thing you can do to protect them.”
For more information on how to keep kids safe this holiday season, or anytime of the year, visit StJosephsChildrens.com.