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Toy Safety

Toy Safety

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were around 198,000 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency departments across the nation in 2020. Of those, 75 percent were sustained by children 14 years old or younger.

The most common injuries were lacerations, contusions, or abrasions – particularly around the head and face.

Tips for picking the right (and safest) toy

Safe Kids Worldwide, a nonprofit organization working to help families and communities keep kids safe from injuries, provides this list of toy safety tips.

  • Consider your child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. Read the instructions and warning labels to make sure the toy is just right for your child.
  • Check to make there aren’t any small parts or other potential choking hazards before you settle on the perfect toy.
  • Separate toys by age and keep a special eye on small game pieces that may be a choking hazard for young children. Toys intended for older children may pose a risk to younger, curious siblings.
  • Use a bin or container to store toys when playtime is over. Make sure there are no holes or hinges that could catch little fingers.
  • Stay updated on toy recalls. Safe Kids has a monthly email alert system for recent recalls. Click here to register for product recall alerts.

Bikes, skateboards, and scooters…oh my!

While bikes, skateboards, scooters, and similar equipment are an excellent way to get outdoors and exercise, they do come with risks.

  • If you plan to gift one of these items, include a CPSC-certified helmet to keep them safe. This way, they’ll be prepared for a safe, fun ride!
  • Helmets that meet CPSC standards are designed and tested to protect the user from receiving a skull fracture or severe brain injury while wearing.
  • Avoid helmets that include nonessential elements, like horns and mohawks, as they may prevent the helmet’s smooth surface from sliding after a fall. Keeping the helmet from sliding could cause further injury.
  • Avoid novelty and toy helmets. Don’t add anything to the helmet that could negatively affect its performance.
  • Children should not wear a helmet while playing on playgrounds or climbing trees. The helmet’s chin strap could get caught on the equipment or tree branches and pose a risk of strangulation.
  • While not as exercise-focused as the other equipment listed, helmets should also be worn while riding a hoverboard.

Click the CPSC link under the resources section for additional helmet safety tips.

Batteries

Experts estimate more than 28,000 kids are treated in U.S. emergency departments annually after swallowing batteries. A young child could confuse some batteries, such as button batteries shaped like a coin, with candy.

The number of injuries and deaths as a result of batteries has increased in recent years.

  • Keep coin lithium battery-controlled devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, singing greeting cards, digital scales, watches, hearing aids, thermometers, key fobs, and some toys.
  • Keep loose batteries locked away.
  • If you suspect a child has ingested a battery, go to the closest hospital immediately. Don’t induce vomiting or have your child eat or drink anything until assessed by a medical professional.

Learn more battery-related safety tips from Smart Kids Worldwide at the link in the resources section.

Share these and other safety tips with caregivers, babysitters, friends, and family members. It only takes a minute and could save a life.

Resources