The holidays are here and trees throughout the country are already crowded with colorfully-wrapped toys. Everyone wants children to have fun and be safe when playing with their toys, but toy safety is often forgotten amid countless television commercials, advertising circulars and even in-store promotions. However, toys can turn on you in a heartbeat. According to “Lexlee’s Kids,” a service provided by Lexlee Overton Law, in 2009, there were an estimated 181,900 toy-related injuries, and children under 5 accounted for nearly half of those injuries. Naturally, everyone wants their children to be safe, and Lexlee’s Kids has provided the following ideas to help:
· I'm a BIG Kid Now! Be sure your children play with age-appropriate toys.
- Santa's Workshop. Look for well-made toys. Check recall lists and read warning labels before buying toys for your children.
- Oops! Check toys regularly for damage that could create hazards. Repair or discard damaged toys immediately.
- Eye See You. Watch your children while they play. Be aware of potential dangers like small parts, cords and strings, moving parts, electrical or battery-powered cords or wheels.
- Open Wide. To be sure of a safe toy size, use a small parts tester. A toilet paper roll can also be used to identify choke-able toys. Do not let small children play with anything that can fit into one of these cylinders.
- Ready for Take-Off. Do not allow riding toys near stairs, traffic or swimming pools.
- Clean Up, Clean Up, Everybody Clean Up. Teach children to put toys away after playing to prevent trip hazards and unsupervised play. Toys intended for younger children should be stored separately from those suitable for older children. Make sure toy chests are open (no lid) or have safety hinges.