Safety First When Choosing Toys, Santa!

December is here, and tiny tots are dreaming about the presents Santa is going to leave under the tree. We’ve got some tips to make sure Santa—and his elves—choose gifts that are safe for your tots this holiday season.

Gift-giving is one of the pleasures of the holiday season. Children are making their lists and eagerly looking forward to the toys they will receive. Piles of presents under a Christmas tree should be the stuff of magical memories, but some toys pose threats to children’s safety.

Toy-related injuries send more than 200,000 children under age 15 to the hospital every year. The American Academy of Pediatrics has some advice to help you choose toys that will safely delight the youngsters on your list.

  • Choose age-appropriate toys. Government regulations govern toy dimensions to prevent babies and toddlers from choking on small parts. Check packages to make sure that the toys you choose are specified for the age of the child.
  • Don’t buy plug-in toys for children under age 10. Toys that plug into an electrical outlet can cause burns and electrical shocks in young children. If you opt for a battery-operated toy instead, make sure the battery is safely secured, and can’t be reached by tiny fingers.
  • Steer clear of toys with buttons, magnets, and accessible batteries. These items can pose a serious health risk if they are swallowed by a small child. Call your doctor immediately if a child swallows one of these objects.
  • Beware of pull toys with long strings. Pull toys can be a terrific way to encourage children in active, physical play. However, strings more than twelve inches long are a strangulation hazard for babies.
  • Be cautious with balloons. Balloons are beautiful and fun to play with, but it’s important to supervise small children carefully if balloons are part of the holiday fun. Children under the age of eight can easily choke on uninflated or broken balloons.

Holiday gifts are meant to thrill children, not injure them. When you choose toys knowledgably and supervise playtime appropriately, your holidays will be happy, healthy, and safe for the tiny tots starring in your celebration.

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