Holiday Season Toy Safety


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Follow these tips from American Academy of Pediatrics to make your holiday season a safe and happy time.

  • Select toys designed to suit the age, abilities, skills and interest level of the intended child. 
  • Before buying a toy or allowing your child to play with a toy that he has received as a gift, read the instructions carefully.
  • To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, don’t give young children younger than 10 a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, buy toys that are battery-operated.
  • Young children can choke on small parts contained in toys or games. Government regulations specify that toys for children younger than 3 cannot have parts less than 1¼ inches in diameter and 2¼ inches long.
  • Children can have serious stomach and intestinal problems — including death — after swallowing button batteries or magnets. In addition to toys, button batteries are often found in musical greeting cards, remote controls, hearing aids and other small electronics. Small, powerful magnets are present in many homes as part of building toy sets. Keep these away from young children and call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows one.
  • Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Do not allow children younger than 8 to play with them.
  • Remove tags, strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
  • Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length, which can be a strangulation hazard for babies.

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics’ healthychildren.org

Katherine Kopp is a freelance writer in Chapel Hill.

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