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Safe Toys and Gifts Month Part 1
Posted: 12/15/2016 11:05 AM by
As we kick off the holiday season, we all want to show how much we care by giving the perfect gift to each of our loved ones. Parents want to give the hottest, most talked about toy at school or on TV. It is easy to be caught up in the spirit of the season, and purchase gifts without reading the fine print, considering the age of the recipient, or the appropriateness of the item.
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.
When it comes to toys and gifts, the excitement and desire to get your children their favorite toys may cause shoppers to forget about safety factors associated with them. Before you make these purchases, it is critical to remember to consider the safety and age range of the toys.
Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three.
This holiday season (and beyond), please consider the following guidelines for choosing safe toys for all ages:
Inspect all toys before purchasing. Avoid those that shoot or include parts that fly off. The toy should have no sharp edges or points and should be sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, crushing, or coming apart easily.
When purchasing toys for children with special needs try to: Choose toys that may appeal to different senses such as sound, movement, and texture; consider interactive toys to allow the child to play with others; and think about the size of the toy and the position a child would need to be in to play with it. Consult the “Able Play” website at http://www.ableplay.org/ for more information.
Be diligent about inspecting toys your child has received. Check them for age, skill level, and developmental appropriateness before allowing children to play with them.
Look for labels that assure you the toys have passed a safety inspection – “ATSM” means the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.
Make your holiday happy by purchasing toys that have been tested and are safe!