With the excitement of the holidays, parents and relatives eagerlypurchase the hottest toys and latest items for their children. Butit's during the hustle and bustle of the season that many fail tobuy age appropriate gifts for their children, and they tend todisregard warnings on these toys and gifts to ensure they are safe. Doctors at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center and theAmerican Academy of Pediatrics give the following tips on toysafety this holiday season: Parents are encouraged to read all warning labels carefully beforepurchasing any item. Consider a child's age, interests, and skill levels when purchasingtoys. Look for toys with sturdy construction and avoid items with sharpedges and points. |
Choking is one of the leading causes of toy-related death. Most ofthese deaths are attributed to toy balls, latex balloons and smallmagnets. Small items can be risky for young children. For children under agethree, choose toys that are at least 1 inch in diameter and 2inches long, so they will not lodge in a child's mouth or throat. Beware of toy jewelry that may contain lead or cadmium.
Bothsubstances can be harmful to children who put items containingthese chemicals into their mouths. To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don't give youngchildren (under age 10) a toy that must be plugged into anelectrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated. Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches inlength.
They could be a strangulation hazard for babies. Parentsshould store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf orin a toy chest, and keep older kids' toys away from young children. Be extra cautious about toys that are handed down from friends andrelatives that may not have warning labels. Inspect these toyscarefully and use your best judgment. Be careful with button batteries found in toys.
If ingested theycan become lodged in the esophagus causing serious injury and evendeath. High power magnets can be found in some toys and if a child ingestsmore than one they can attract to one another and result in seriousinjury or even death. Seek medical attention if your child ingestsone or more magnets. Once the gifts are opened, it's important to quickly discardplastic wrapping.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission website, www.cpsc.gov, hasinformation about safety hazards and recall information. It will beuseful to check this site before purchasing toys for your children. Additional References Citations.
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