December is here, and Christmas is near. As we prepare for the holidays and gift-giving, we also have to keep “safety” in mind. Prevent Blindness America has declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. The group encourages everyone to consider safe toys and gifts for children. Be sure to check if the toys you wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three (Alpha.org).
As a parent, I understand the pressure of seeking to find the perfect Christmas presents for our children. Trying to procure everything off our kids’s Christmas list is a job by itself. Although Christmas is not about only receiving presents, we still go above and beyond to put smiles on our children’s faces.
Before heading to the stores or shopping online, parents, make sure you purchase age-appropriate gifts. Toys are fun, and we don’t think otherwise, apart from “it’s just toys.” Yes, that may be true, but there are some toys that can be harmful and may lead to death if not played with correctly while unsupervised.
1. Read the label. Warning labels provide important information about how to use a toy and what ages the toy is safe for.
2. If applicable, cleanse all toys before allowing children to play with them. “Mild soap and water.”
3. Discard all wrappings and plastics after opening each toy.
4. Do not place toys in a crib or playpen while your child is resting. Anything that can increase choking or strangulation is a definite “NO” while unsupervised.
5. Be certain to review the toys for malfunctions and ensure your child knows how to use the toys properly.
6. Electric toys should be “UL Approved.” Look at the label to be certain. The UL Listed seal means the product has been tested by UL to nationally recognized safety and sustainability standards.
7. Remember to pick up and safely store all toys away from children when not in use.
8. Avoid toys that may contain harmful chemicals. “We know that kids love to put things in their mouths, lol.”
9. Avoid small pieces for small children; make sure you get toys that are bigger than their mouths.
10. Ensure that batteries are secured when using battery-operated devices and toys.
Remember that the best way to protect your children is to watch them while they play.
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