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Toy Safety Tips for the Holidays

The holidays are here! It's time for Santa to fly his sleigh with a bag full of toys for the girls and boys. We want your family to enjoy all the new toys and games and remember that accidents can happen: Every three minutes, a child younger than 18 is treated in an emergency room for a toy-related injury. You can keep your holiday fun and accident-free by following the toy safety tips below from our injury prevention team.

For younger children:

  • Check for choking hazards. You should consider a toy or toy part a choking hazard if it can fit through the opening of a gallon of milk.
  • Avoid small toys with magnets. These can do severe internal damage if swallowed.
  • Be aware of button batteries. Button batteries can damage your child's throat and stomach—or even cause death—if swallowed. Make sure button batteries are in a compartment that you can only access with a screwdriver.
  • Separate toys for different ages. If you have an older child, keep his or her toys separate from your younger child's toys.

For older children:

  • Supervise children younger than 8. You will decrease the chance of an accident if you keep an eye on them as they play.
  • Make rules for ride-on toys and skates. Children should always wear a properly fitted helmet when skating or using any ride-on toy like a bike. They should also avoid riding or skating, on or near a busy street.
  • Don't use an all-terrain vehicle (ATV) like a toy. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that no one under the age of 16 operate an ATV. They are powerful, heavy machines that travel fast and have no safety features.

Lastly, remember that most toys come with age guidelines. These guidelines are for your child's development and safety. Always be sure your child's toys are age-appropriate, and follow all toy guidelines and instructions.

Learn more about child safety from our Injury Prevention department. 

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