In recognition of National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, Cobb & Douglas Public Health (CDPH) urges residents to consider purchasing safer toys for children during the holidays, and offers these safety tips:
- Avoid toys with small parts or many pieces for children younger than 5 years of age
- Always check with parents of children first before deciding on a toy for the child
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box, as well as suggested age suitability
- Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that fly off
- Do not purchase toys with long strings or cords
- Make sure purchased toys can withstand impact and will not break into small shards
- Avoid toys with sharp edges, spikes, protrusions or rigid points
- Look for the letters “ASTM” on toy packaging which indicates that the product meets American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) safety standards
- Consider if there are younger children in the house before buying a toy that shoots, fires, has many small pieces, requires assembly or can be ridden for an older child
- Always clean up balloons as soon as they break or deflate to avoid choking hazards
- Make sure sports equipment has accompanying protective gear, especially gear protecting the head and face
- Help children learn how to safety use their toys and monitor children when they play
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), in 2015 there were 254,200 estimated toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries. An estimated 185,500 (73%) happened to children younger than 15 years of age.
For more information about toy and gift safety, visit www.cpsc.gov.