Santa’s Safety List: 12 Tips for Toys

Toys are an essential part of the holiday gift-giving and while many parents are still crossing off presents on their children’s Christmas lists, DHEC wants to make sure little ones stay safe this holiday season.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 252,000 children were treated in U.S. emergency rooms for toy-related injuries in 2015. Here are 12 tips to make sure your family stays safe this holiday.

Make sure to follow the age recommendations for toys and games.
Always pay close attention to the age recommendations on toys and choose one according to a child’s age, interest, and skill level.

Take notice of warning and safety labels.
Be aware of other safety labels such as “Flame retardant/flame resistant” or “Washable/Hygienic materials” on dolls and other stuffed toys.

Plastic wrappings can be deadly for small children – discard them immediately.
Discard the plastic wrappings from toys immediately; they become deadly playthings to small children.

When choosing toys, keep in mind that kids under one like to see, touch, hear and taste.
For children one and under, choose toys that are colorful, lightweight, have various textures and are made of non-toxic materials. Children, this age learn through sight, touch, sound and taste and often put things into their mouths to explore them.

Small parts like removable eyes are choking hazards.
Don’t give young children any toys with small parts such as removable eyes, noses, etc., they are choking hazards.

Stay away from toys with sharp points, edges, and wires that stab, cut or shock.
Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges made from such materials as metal or glass—these toys should not be given to children under eight years of age. This includes stuffed animals with wires that could stab, cut or shock if exposed.

Never hang toys with strings, cords, or ribbons of any kind in cribs or playpens.
Toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind should not be hung in cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled which can cause injury or death.

Teach older children to keep toys with removable small parts or sharp points away from younger siblings.
Teach older children to keep their toys that may have removable small parts, sharp points or toys ran on electricity out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren’t appropriate for them.

Worn or broken toys can cause injuries.
Keep toys and play equipment in good condition, discard any toys that are broken to prevent injuries.

Check toys regularly for safety and durability.
Toys get used and abused by children; regularly conduct a toy maintenance check for safety and durability.

Provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors.
Supervision is essential; provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors.

Toys can be a tripping hazard!
Teach children early to put toys away when they are finished playing with them. This will prevent accidental falls over them.

To learn more about preventing your child from other injuries you can visit our website at http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/ChildTeenHealth/EarlyChildhood/PreventInjuries/

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