Holiday Toy Safety Tips

No family wants to celebrate their Christmas in a hospital emergency room. Unfortunately, some entertaining holiday toys can cause injury when used improperly. Parents need to take special care in reading labels on toys and choose toys that suit the age, abilities and interest of their children. Sometimes reading the packaging is not enough. Even today, misused or poorly designed toys can cause injury or suffocation.

Toy Safety Tips:

Follow age recommendation guidelines explicitly. Younger children often lack the appropriate motor skills to operate complex toys, particularly riding toys.

Always check labeling to confirm the toy is non-flammable.

Make sure the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has not recalled any toy you are planning to give your children.

Always use proper safety gear, making sure to protect head, joints and teeth against mishaps that can occur with skateboards, scooters, roller blades or bikes.

While most parents know to keep small parts or accessories away from little ones, the smaller pieces are equally dangerous and tempting to family pets.

Don’t box or wrap new kittens or puppies.

Immediately remove all plastic bags and other dangerous packaging materials from toys and gifts if young children are present.

During assembly, check toys for sharp edges or broken parts. Always keep screwdrivers and other assembly tools away from little hands.

Gift-wrapped items can cause a fire if touching lights. Turn off tree lights before going to bed. Do not allow the lights to burn all evening or for extended periods while you are away from the home. Never leave candles unattended or near wrapped gifts.

Don’t offer criminals the knowledge that children live in your home by placing opened boxes outside your home or on the curb for trash collection. Boxes for hot or expensive toys like Xbox also can be inviting to thieves. Break boxes down and, if possible, place them in recycle bins or non-clear garbage bags.

Don’t burn wrapping paper in the fireplace. Some slick papers may omit carcinogens when burned.

For a full list of dangerous toys, contact the CPSC at 800-638-2772 or through their Web site at: www.cpsc.gov.

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