December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

890ba36f0b9adafef5fb4ad2f981a6eaThe mother of small children generally cringes whenever some well-meaning relative or family friend gives their child or children toys with sharp edges and what looks like a million small pieces for Christmas. I would cringe. Those small pieces and sharp edges could easily end up lodged in a foot, an eye or some other body part that leads to infection and/or a trip to the emergency room.

Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Month. This is scary:

“According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010 throughout the United States.  72% were to people less than 15 years of age. Additionally, in 2007 alone, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide because of safety concerns such as lead paint and small magnets.” [Read the rest here.]

Here are some tips to assist you in shopping for children, yours or someone else’s.

  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box before purchasing or before allowing your children to play with the gift if from someone other than you.
  • If shopping for other people’s children, ask them what is appropriate for the child first. Parents know their children and know the toys better than anyone.
  • Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that can fly off.
  • Make sure the construction of a toy is such that it will not break into tiny shards or sharp pieces if broken.
  • Think long and hard about toys with cords and strings that can choke.

Prevent Blindness America has two great tip sheets you can download for more information and that can assist you in your holiday shopping: Facts About Toy Injuries and Tips for Choosing Safe Toys.

It is best to be safe than sorry.

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