Celebrating Christmas Safely: A Toy Gifting Guide
The holidays are right around the corner, and it’s important to keep toy safety in mind. Opening gifts can be one of the most exciting parts of Christmas for children, but that excitement can quickly turn to danger with the wrong toys.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has created a robust toy safety system, requiring testing by independent, third-party laboratories around the world. We have highlighted some of the highest holiday toy risks below.
Choking, Swallowing and Suffocation Hazards
- Avoid toys with small plastic parts for children under 3 years old as they can choke on them. A good rule of thumb for “small” parts includes anything under 1.25” diameter and 2.25” in length. Examples include Lego sets, marbles, coins, or anything else that has extruding parts that could easily break off.
- Remove and discard packaging and plastic film immediately. Plastic film is often used to prevent scratching on mirrors and other smooth surfaces during shipping, but it also poses a serious choking threat to young children. Read more on the CPSC report here.
- Keep deflated and broken balloons away from children under 8 years old. Small children can accidentally inhale balloons, causing suffocation. Uninflated or broken balloons are the leading cause of suffocation death according to CPSC injury data.
- Use caution when gifting children play sets with small magnets and/or small pieces containing magnets as they could mistakenly or intentionally swallow them. Ingesting two or more magnets can cause intestinal perforations or blockages. Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect your child may have swallowed a magnet.
Falling Hazards with Riding Toys
Scooters, bikes, skateboards and rollerblades are a fun and fast-moving gift. But with their speed comes a dangerous risk for falls. Please be sure that your child is wearing a helmet that is sized to fit when using any toys with wheels. Additional safety gear such as knee pads, elbow pads and wrist pads should be worn when using scooters, skateboards and rollerblades.
For more information on all toy safety, visit https://child-familyservices.org/december-is-national-safe-toys-and-gifts-month/.
From all of us at St. Vincent Health, we wish you a very safe, happy and warm holiday season.