Did you know that approximately 217,000 children are treated at hospital emergency rooms for toy-related injuries? The holidays are a time of joy and celebration. It can also be a time where kids get into trouble by not understanding that some toys, like sharp objects, toys with small parts, batteries, or toxic substances, should never be touched. To help parents keep their children safe this holiday season, the National Safe Toys and Gifts Month campaign are reminding us to check our toy boxes for anything dangerous before we give them away or put them under the tree! The goal of the organization is to educate people about proper toy safety during the holiday season According to the Alliance for Children and Families, it’s important to consider the following when purchasing toys. 

  • Inspect the toys before you buy them. Avoid toys with sharp edges or parts that can be easily pulled off. For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking.
  • Make sure the age and skill level marked on the toy matches the age and skill level of the child you’re buying for.
  • Check toys for the ATSM (American Society for Testing and Materials) label that proves it’s up to standard.

Other safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:

  • Do not give toys with ropes, cords, or that can heat up, and avoid crayons and markers unless they are labeled nontoxic.
  • Keep high-powered magnet sets away from children. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.
  • Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old as they can cause choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Also discard broken balloons immediately.
  • Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit when using riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates.
  • After gift opening, immediately discard plastic wrapping or other toy packaging before the wrapping and packaging pose safety issues.
  • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.

It’s never been more important to make sure your child is safe. If you have anything that could be a potential choking hazard for children in your home or office, please either dispose of them now or put them away until after Christmas Day. Be mindful not only about what toys and games they play with but also any decorations. The physicians and staff at Bay Area Family Physicians appreciate the opportunity to provide your medical services. We want to strengthen communication between our office and you, our patients. As specialists in Family Medicine, we focus on primary care needs for patients of all ages – from newborns to the elderly. We diagnose and treat almost all medical conditions. Ideally, your entire family will see the same doctor, allowing both you and your doctor to establish a close, trusting relationship. Contact us today for more information!