Keep your loved ones out of the emergency room on Christmas morning.
As a parent, you know the drill: stay up until the wee hours wrapping presents and stowing them under the tree on Christmas Eve, only to be shaken awake by eager children mere hours later. When you see the glee and gratitude on your kids’ faces, it’s worth all of the stress and shopping.
However, a toy-related accident can quickly dampen the spirit on Christmas morning. Even toys that are designed for young children sometimes carry certain risks such as small parts or hazardous materials. Fortunately, it’s usually possible to avoid these with a little planning.
Read on for some toy safety tips from New York Presbyterian Hospital:
- Pay attention to the label – Look for the letters "ASTM," which mean the toy meets national safety standards from the American Society for Testing and Materials. Read all instructions and make sure the toy is age-appropriate. The ages suggested on the packaging are not just there to ensure the recipient has fun – they’re essential for safety.
- Plan ahead and do some research – We understand the temptation to leave holiday shopping for the last minute, but it’s best to be deliberate about toy purchases. Read online reviews and see what other parents have to say about a toy’s safety before making a run to the toy store.
- Avoid sharp edges, small parts and projectiles – These features can easily turn dangerous, particularly for children under three. Sharp edges can cause cuts and scrapes, toy guns contribute to countless eye injuries and small objects can easily end up in a small child’s mouth.
- In stuffed toys, quality matters – If you’re giving any huggable furry friends this year, make sure the eyes, nose and mouth are securely attached and free of toxic materials.
- Discard the packaging – Even a dexterous adult is no match for the sharp edges of a blister pack. Plastic bags, twist ties and other packaging materials can be particularly dangerous in small hands.
- Use as directed – Make sure your child knows how to use gifts properly, modeling appropriate behavior and following all instructions. Most importantly, have a happy holiday season!
Do you have any Christmas toy horror stories? What presents are going to blow your kids’ minds this year? Sound off in the comments below, or share this post with a friend.