In 2015, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission reported that 254,200 children under the age of 15 years were seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries. That’s 696 kids every day! More than a third of those injured were children 5 years old and younger.
When buying toys, be sure to check the label and follow age recommendations, such as “Not recommended for children under three.” Age recommendations are not based on developmental intelligence; they are based on safety factors. Check existing toys for damage and repair, and throw away any toys that could present potential hazards, such as sharp edges, splinters, and rusted or weak parts. Toy boxes may also cause safety concerns, such as a lid that could easily fall down on a child or sharp corners.
Toys should be larger than the child’s mouth to prevent choking hazards. Toys with cords should be avoided, or the cord should be cut to prevent strangulation. Toy darts or arrows should not have hard points at the end. The points should be soft-tipped or have suction cups.
Aside from toys, other objects around the home can be hidden hazards:
- Small objects, like magnets and watch batteries, can be choking hazards.
- Children should always wear helmets and other protective gear for their knees, elbows, and wrists while riding bicycles, skates, and scooters.
- Broken or uninflated balloons can be choking hazards.
CPSC. (n.d.). Toy-related deaths and injuries calendar year 2015. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/Toy_Report_2015_0.pdf
CPSC. (n.d.). Think toy safety. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Retrieved from https://www.cpsc.gov/s3fs-public/281%281%29.pdf