December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month
The holiday season is upon us. Anyone with young children knows that means brand new toys! Keeping this in mind, did you know that December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month?
Read on to learn more!
Giving Beats Everything
One of the greatest thrills of the holiday season is giving gifts to our loved ones. There’s nothing quite like watching a child open a cherished and much wished-for present. The excitement is something everyone can enjoy.
Of course, there are always some safety concerns to consider. That is the entire point of Safe Toys and Gifts Month.
What is Safe Toys and Gifts Month?
When it comes to safety, thinking ahead is critical. Kids may want all manner of toys, but it takes a responsible adult to learn when to say "no." Therefore, think about eliminating potential risks before making any purchases.
According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms treated 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2010. 72% of those were under the age of 15. Due to safety concerns, toymakers recalled over 19 million toys worldwide just a few years ago. These recalls involved harmful materials like lead paint and even small magnets. Obviously, both of these substances can be quite dangerous when ingested. The best bet is to never allow them in the house.
While toy safety has improved over the years, shoppers should still take precautions to keep the playroom and nursery safe.
Check All Toys Before Gifting
The first advice for Safe Toys and Gifts Month is to inspect the toys before purchasing. Then, inspect them again after they arrive. Many toys have sharp parts or small components. This can easily become a choking hazard.
Much to a parent or guardian's chagrin, kids have a habit of putting anything and everything in their mouths. Before allowing your child to use a toy, remove any ribbons, cords or strings that can get wrapped around their necks. Small pieces that are removable or can break off of a toy can easily end up in the mouth of a young child. A bit of forethought and extra attention to safety can nip this issue in the bud.
Pick the Right Toy for the Right Child
The most crucial toy safety tip is to pick the correct toy for the right youngster. A general rule of thumb is to use the age range listed on the toy's box. That said, this is not the only factor to consider. The specific developmental stage of each child must always be taken into account.
When choosing a toy, consider options that match the child's ability levels. Certain ages and development stages have particular needs. Try to purchase gifts that take these into account.
Check for Recalls
Finally, knowing if something is wrong with an entire line of products is one of the most important toy safety tips. Keep an eye out for recalls, warnings, and notices about your child's toys' safety. Recalls.gov provides useful information on any products or toys that have been recalled for safety reasons. Furthermore, we do our best to keep parents up to date on critical product recalls right here on this Child Safety Blog.
Learning More about Safe Toys and Gifts Month
Finally, the best way to keep kids safe this year is to spread the word. The American Academy of Ophthalmology sponsors National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, but they will need all of our help to amplify the message. Share this post on social media using the official hashtag: #SafeToysAndGiftsMonth. This will let other gift-givers know to think twice during this holiday season.