Approximately 50 percent of all toy purchases in the United States occur between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas. Despite increase in safety however, Safe Kids Wake County urges parents to remain cautious.
Top five tips for making sure children’s toys are safe during this holiday season:
- Before shopping for toys, consider the child’s age, interest and skill level. A fun, but inappropriate toy for a particular child can be dangerous.
- Make sure toys intended for older children are stored separately from those for younger children.
- Keep toys with small parts away from children under age 3. They can choke on small toys and toy parts.
- Check regularly for damage that could create small pieces that are choking hazards. Make any necessary repairs immediately, or discard damaged toys out of the reach of children.
- Actively supervise children when they are playing with riding toys as well as any toy that has small balls and small parts, magnets, electrical or battery power, cords and strings, wheels or any other potential hazard. Simply being in the same room as your child is not necessarily supervising. Active supervision means keeping the child in sight and in reach while paying undivided attention.
To stay informed about harmful products in the marketplace, parents can go to www.recalls.gov and sign up for email alerts on recalled children’s products.
Safe Kids Wake County reminds parents that most toys are safe, especially if you buy from a reputable retailer. “That doesn’t mean you have to go to a ‘big box’ store” Ms. Siobhan Davis, Safe Kids Wake County coordinator says. “But if you shop at a locally-owned toy store, make sure that the owner is aware and vigilant about getting recalled items off the shelves.”
If secondhand toys are purchased, or received from friends or relatives, Safe Kids Wake County advises parents to visit www.cpsc.gov and make sure the toy hasn’t been recalled for safety reasons. Used toys should also be in good condition with all original parts and packaging, if possible. If a new toy comes with a product registration card, mail it in right away so the manufacturer can contact you if the item is ever recalled.
Safe Kids Wake County works to prevent unintentional childhood injury, the leading cause of death and disability to children ages 1 to 14. Safe Kids Wake County is a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations dedicated to preventing unintentional injury. Safe Kids Wake County was founded in 1996 and is led by WakeMed Health & Hospitals.