Holiday Toy Safety
Posted on 12/04/2019

The holiday season is here and for many kids that means one thing: toys. Approximately 50 percent of all toy purchases in the United States occur between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas. While parents are on a mad dash to scoop up the hottest toys, Benton-Franklin Health District advises that safety should be at the top of their wish lists.

More than 1200 children a day are treated in emergency departments for injuries associated with bicycles, skateboards, scooters, and skating. Another 500 children a day are seen in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries and more than a third of toy-related injuries are in children younger than 5 years old. As the lead agency for our local Safe Kids Coalition, Benton-Franklin Health District works to help families prevent these injuries.

If your child or teen’s holiday wish list includes a bike, skateboard, snowboard, scooter or any equipment that rides, slides, or glides, make sure a properly-fitting helmet is included with the gift. It’s easy to fit a helmet. Just follow the instructions found here: https://www.safekids.org/tip/bike-safety-tips

If secondhand toys are purchased or received from friends or relatives, parents should visit
www.cpsc.gov and make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons. If possible, used toys should also be in good condition with all original parts and packaging. If a new toy comes with a product registration card, it is helpful for parents to mail it in so the manufacturer can contact them if the item is ever recalled.

In addition, the Health District and Safe Kids recommend the following 5 toy safety tips.

1.  Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game.
It’s worth a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s just right for your child.

2.  Keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. While these kinds of games are great for older kids, they can pose a potential danger for younger, curious siblings.

3.  After play time is over, use a bin or container to store toys for next time.
Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers.

4.  Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children
. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, children’s toys, calculators, key fobs, tea light candles, flashing holiday jewelry or decorations.

5.  Stay informed about harmful products in the marketplace.
Safe Kids will make it easy for you by sending an e-mail alert twice a month. Parents can sign up at
www.safekids.org/product-recalls.

To learn more about Safe Kids Benton-Franklin, go to the Safe Kids section of our website.