ACH Offers Safety Tips for Happy and Healthy Holidays

LITTLE ROCK, AR. (Dec. 20, 2011) - Amidst the carols, hot cocoa and cookies, the joy and merriment of the holiday season is here. As parents go out to purchase presents for their good little girls and boys, safety hazards need to be considered.

According to a report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), approximately 181,500 children younger than 15 were treated in U.S. hospital emergency departments due to toy-related injuries in 2010.

"Injuries affecting the head are the most common and, unfortunately, the most serious," said Alison Rose, Home Safety and Regional Programs coordinator for the Injury Prevention Center at Arkansas Children's Hospital (ACH). "Supervision is the key piece of the injury prevention puzzle. We tend to visit others' homes more during the holidays, so it is important to remember not every home has been childproofed."

Keep your children cheerful and safe this holiday season with these tips from the ACH Injury Prevention Center.

  • Choose toys appropriate for your child's age and skill level. Follow the guidance on labels about which ages a toy is most suitable for.
  • Head injuries are the most common toy-related injuries, so make sure your child wears proper safety equipment. Even young children on tricycles and scooters should wear helmets.
  • Choking is a big concern. Children tend to choke on balloons, small balls and other toys with small parts. Check toys regularly for damage that could create small pieces that are choking hazards. 
  • Batteries are both a choking danger and a poison danger. Coin-sized "button" batteries, commonly found in remote controls and singing greeting cards, are easy to swallow and can cause holes in the throat, tissue damage or even death.
  • Immediately after opening gifts, remove plastic wrap, ribbons and other choking or suffocation hazards from a child's reach.
  • If secondhand toys are purchased or received, parents should visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website, www.cpsc.gov, or call 1-800-638-2772 to make sure the toy has not been recalled for safety reasons.
  • If a new toy comes with a product registration card, mail it in and the manufacturer will contact you if the item is ever recalled.
  • Establish rules and consequences for breaking the rules. Enforce them consistently.
  • Actively supervise children when they are playing with riding toys as well as any toy that has small parts, electrical or battery power, cords or any other potential hazard. Not only does it reduce the risk of injury, it promotes social and emotional learning for children.

For additional safety information, contact ACH's Injury Prevention Center at 501-364-3400 or visit or visit http://www.archildrens.org/injury_prevention.

Arkansas Children's Hospital is the only pediatric medical center in Arkansas and one of the largest in the United States serving children. The campus spans 29 city blocks and houses 316 beds, a staff of approximately 500 physicians, 80 residents in pediatrics and pediatric specialties and more than 4,000 employees. The private, nonprofit healthcare facility boasts an internationally renowned reputation for medical breakthroughs and intensive treatments, unique surgical procedures and forward-thinking medical research - all dedicated to fulfilling our mission of enhancing, sustaining and restoring children's health and development. ACH recently ranked No. 75 on FORTUNE 100 Best Companies to Work ForĀ®. For more information, visit www.archildrens.org.

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