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Toy Safety

How children are injured

Although most toy-related injuries are minor cuts, scrapes, and bruises, children can sometimes be seriously injured or even killed by dangerous toys or misuse of toys. Some common causes of injury are:

  • Abuse and misuse of toys. Throwing toys, jumping on them, or taking them apart can be dangerous. When a toy breaks, sharp or pointed edges may be exposed that can cause a serious injury.
  • Small, loose, or broken toys and parts. A small toy or part can easily become lodged in a child’s ear, nose, or throat. Children can be seriously injured or killed from inhaling, swallowing, or choking on small objects.
  • Loose string, rope, ribbons, or cord. These items can easily become tangled around your child’s neck and strangle him. Dangling object such as crib mobiles can be deadly if your child becomes entangled in them.
  • Toy guns. Eye injuries often result from toys that shoot plastic objects or other flying pieces. These can also be choking hazards.
  • Riding toys. Injuries are caused not only when children fall off riding toys, but also when they ride them in the street when traffic is present or into swimming pools, ponds, and lakes.
  • Beach and pool toys. These toys are usually not approved flotation devices. Never leave your child unattended at any time near a pool, beach, or pond, even in very shallow water.
  • Electric plug in toys. Burns and shocks can still result from frayed cords, misuse, or prolonged use of the toy.
  • Chemistry sets and hobby kits. These kits can cause fires, explosions, or poisoning.
  • Toy chests and other storage containers. Toy chests can pinch, bruise, or break tiny fingers and hands if a lid closes suddenly. Death can even occur when a heavy lid without a safety support hinge traps and strangles a small child.

Tips for buying toys

Use the following guidelines to choose safe and appropriate toys for your child.

  1. Read the label before buying the toy.
  2. Think LARGE when it comes to choosing toys in order to prevent choking.
  3. Avoid toys that shoot small objects into the air.
  4. Avoid toys that make loud or shrill noises to help protect your child’s hearing.
  5. Look for sturdy toy construction to make sure that all small parts are secured tightly.
  6. Watch out for sharp points or edges and toys made from thin plastic or other material that may break easily.
  7. Avoid toxic items and materials that could cause poisoning.
  8. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for any child younger than 12 years old.
  9. Check the label to make sure electric toys are approved by the Underwriters Laboratories (“UL Approved”).
  10. Be careful when buying crib toys. Strings or wires that hang in a crib should be kept short.
  11. Choose a toy chest carefully. Look for smooth, finished edges that are nontoxic. If it has a lid, make sure it is sturdy, with locking supports and safe hinges.

Supervise your child’s play

Keep all toys with small parts away from your young child until he learns not to put them in his mouth. Do not allow your child to play with a toy that was intended for an older child. Keep deflated and broken balloons away from children of all ages, as they are a serious choking hazard. To prevent injuries, stop reckless or improper play. Make sure your child never plays with toys near stairs, traffic, or swimming pools. Store toys on a shelf or in a toy chest. They should be out of the way and off the floor, to avoid being stepped on or tripped over. Look for damaged or broken parts that may pose a hazard. Never leave metal toys outside overnight. If you are ever in doubt about a toy’s safety, throw it away. By using the guidelines listed above, you can help prevent toy-related injuries.

Information on this site is intended for Angel Kids Pediatrics patients only. Always consult your doctor before beginning, modifying, or discontinuing any treatment plan.

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