With over 2 million dangerous toys and children’s products recalled in 2012, Santa should be careful to put safety first this holiday season. When shopping for toys for your children, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
Avoid toys with small parts.
For the obvious reason: small pieces mean choking hazards. Little hands like to put little pieces in little mouths so if your child is under 3 years old, stick to the big stuff.
Babies and balloons don’t mix.
Balloons pop or deflate, and create immediate dangers. When swallowed, deflated balloons can be deadly. Even while still inflated, balloons pose as suffocation risks. This safety tip isn’t just for tots; children under 8 should steer clear of balloons.
Avoid magnetic forces and lead.
Over the years, toy manufactures have raised the bar on eliminating lead from children’s products. This year, only one toy (a Morphobot action figure) was recalled due to high lead levels.
However, magnets are rising in both popularity and risk. High-powered magnets can cling together after swallowed, creating pinching at any point throughout the digestive track.
Wheels and helmets go together like peanut butter and jelly.
If you’re thinking about buying your little one a scooter, bike or skateboard this year, remember the most important accessory: a helmet. No one takes more bumps and falls than a kid on wheels so remember to protect their noggin.
But the caution can’t end after the toys are under the tree so keep the following in mind:
Small toy parts aren’t the only choking hazards.
Gift-wrapping can include bows, beads and plastic pieces. These pose as both choking and suffocation risks so keep a close eye on the kids, especially while they’re ripping open their presents.
Make sure the presents stay with the right receivers.
Remember how much you wanted to play with your big sister’s stuff? Even after the cleanup has happened, make sure that older children keep their gifts away from younger siblings and cousins.