Health & Safety

December 19, 2013

Give safe gifts this holiday season

Commentary by 355th Medical Group
355th Medical Group

The month of December is observed as “Safe Toys and Gifts Month,” as a means of alerting parents to be careful when making toy and gift choices.

According to cpsc.gov, toy-related deaths and injuries calendar year 2011, an estimate of 262,300 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments in 2011. More than 70 percent of these injuries were of children 12 years old or younger due to dangerous toys or misuse.

You can prevent your child from being injured by a toy through awareness and research prior to purchasing them. Here are some tips:

· Ensure the toys your buying safe toys are age-appropriate. Checking the recommended age labels on toy boxes will help you to know if your child is old enough to play with the toy.

· Inspect the toys for sharp edge.

· Ensure the toy is sturdy enough to withstand impact without breaking, being crushed, or the ability to be pulled apart too easily.

· Older toys or hand-me-downs from friends and family may have sentimental value and be cost effective; however, they may not meet current safety standards. It is important to ensure the toy has not been overly worn down or can break easily making it hazardous for play.

· Whether the toy is purchased or given, the paint should be non-toxic lead-free.

· Toys with fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. It is best that all toys be washable but especially fabric. Washing toys can prevent the spread of germs and removes built up bacteria.

Once you have given the toy to your child, it is important to ensure he or she knows how to play with it properly. The best way is through supervision. Playing with your child teaches him or her how to play safely while having fun.




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(U.S. Air Force photo illustration by Airman 1st Class Jessica H. Smith and Airman Connor J. Marth)

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