The experts at Prevent Child Injury provide the five tips listed below to help in selecting safe toys.
- Read the label. The packaging has important information about whether the toy will be safe for your child. Check to make sure that the toy is nontoxic and age-appropriate. Stick within the guidelines even if you think your child is smart enough or ready for older children’s toys—the guidelines are there to protect your little one from unexpected harm like small parts that could lead to choking.
- Buy a helmet. If you will be giving a child a ride-on toy such as a tricycle, foot-powered scooter, or bike, buy a properly-fitted helmet to go with it. Elbow and knee pads are also recommended for scooters and skateboards. To learn how to fit a helmet, visit http://1.usa.gov/1yvgUXX
- Make sure batteries are secure. Small, coin-sized “button” batteries are in many products around the house, even toys. When swallowed, button batteries can cause serious injuries and even lead to death, all within as little as 2 hours. Check your child’s toys and other household electronics for button batteries and make sure battery compartments are secure. Get the facts at http://bit.ly/11vlPMG.
- Avoid toys with high-powered magnets. Fake magnetic jewelry, adult desk toys, and other magnetic toys pose a serious risk to children. Not only are high-powered magnets a choking hazard, they can cause severe internal damage when swallowed. If your child swallows more than one magnet, they can attract each other through layers of tissue and damage your child’s internal organs. Learn more about magnets here: http://1.usa.gov/1A7QziK
- Check for recalls. Hundreds of toys have been recalled in recent years. Visit www.recalls.gov to see if you have any of these toys in your home.
For more information on toy safety, visit http://www.preventchildinjury.org/resources-3/toy-safety/toy-safety-project-materials.aspx.
Prevent Child Injury is a national group of organizations and individuals, including researchers, health professionals, educators, and child advocates, working together to prevent injuries to children and adolescents in the U.S. In collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Prevent Child Injury promotes coordinated public communication about child injury, which is the leading cause of death of our nation’s youth.