How To Buy Safe Toys This Christmas
Christmas time is right around the corner and gift shopping is in full swing! While shopping, remember to keep safety in mind. The United States has strict toy safety standards, but that doesn’t mean every toy is meant for every child. When shopping for younger children, keep in mind that they are vulnerable and still developing. How are you supposed to buy safe toys this Christmas? Read on!
What Are Toy Safety Guidelines
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) monitors and regulates toy safety standards in the country. These rules apply to toys both manufactured domestically and imported from other countries.
If you’ve purchased toys recently, you may notice they’re labeled with appropriate age groups that would find the best and safest enjoyment. They also include notices of what hazards this toy could pose for certain age groups.
How Common Are Toy-Related Injuries
- Between 2015 and 2018, data shows that over 1 million cases of toy-related injuries were seen in adolescents between 0 and 19 years of age.
- Both boys and girls are most likely to receive toy-related injuries between the ages of 1 and 4 years.
- Most toy-related injuries sustained by both boys and girls were related to scooters and skateboards.
How To Buy Safe Toys This Christmas
When Christmas shopping for younger children and adolescents, avoid hazards such as:
- Toxic substances. You may recall the previous use of lead paint and other harmful substances in coloring utensils. While these are no longer allowed and are easier to avoid, avoid plastic toys! These, along with the everyday items you may own, can be hazardous for children – especially if they like to chew on their toys.
- Choking hazards. Make sure you’re looking for age guidelines before you buy! Toys meant for older children can contain dangerous hazards, such as: buttons, small parts, batteries, accessories and other small items young children could try chewing.
- Excessively noisy. Loud toys can be annoying for parents, but they can be flat out dangerous for young ears! Kids love to hold toys that make noise close to their faces – it’s new, intriguing and fun! However, toys that produce greater than 90 decibels can be just as damaging as 120 decibels. Watch out for vehicles with horns and sirens, talking dolls, musical instruments and other noisy toys.
- Electric/Mechanical toys. While this may seem silly considering most toys in this day and age are mechanical, there are dangers to purchasing them! Despite standards and safety practices set in place, toys can and do malfunction. And children don’t always use toys for their intended purposes. Avoid potential electrical shocks, chemical burns, thermal burns and more by picking out the right toy for your child.
Always look for toys labeled with “ATSM.” This means it’s a product that meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials! Supervision during playtime could also save you and your family a trip to the hospital. Make sure you’re monitoring younger children closely and intervene when necessary!
Also, make sure to look at the Consumer Product Safety Commission website and look for any toy recalls.
This Christmas, keep your children safe by purchasing age-appropriate toys and monitoring younger children during play! If an accident occurs and you or a child requires emergency medical attention, visit CCMH’s Drewry Family Emergency Center or seek ambulatory care by calling 580.585.5555.
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Children’s Safety Network. https://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/infographics/toy-injuries-us-children-know-facts
Science Daily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/02/210222124552.htm
St. Jude. https://www.stjude.org/treatment/patient-resources/caregiver-resources/patient-family-education-sheets/rehabilitation/noisy-toys-dangerous-play.html