In 2014, 183, 800 children under the age of 15 years were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries. If you do the math, that’s 504 kids every day. And more than a third of those injured were children ages 5 and under. It can be confusing at times to determine what toys your children can play with that are safe and to avoid injuries. We have just a few tips to keep in mind.
- Consider your child’s age, interest and skill level when purchasing a toy or game. Take a moment to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s appropriate for your child.
- Toys made of fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant; stuffed toys should be washable.
- Painted toys should be covered with lead-free paint.
- Art materials should say nontoxic. In addition, crayons and paints should be labeled ASTM D-4236 on the package, indicating they’ve been evaluated by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
- Watch out for small game pieces less than 1.75 inches in diameter for babies and toddlers. These may be a choking hazard for young children, even though your older kids may be playing with them. Other toys to avoid include electrical toys and toys with heating elements for children under 8 and latex balloons for all children.
- Stay away from toy guns or other toys that shoot objects. Even the simple versions that shoot plastic objects can lead to eye injuries and present choking hazards.
- Do not use toys with loose strings, cords, or ribbons as they can become tangled around your baby’s neck. In addition, keep all loose items out of your baby’s crib.
- Stay away from toys with sharp points and edges.
- Supervision is key. Make sure to keep a watchful eye to avoid potential injuries.