Advice on avoiding injuries
’Tis the season to give and receive toys. But gifts that are not age-appropriate may have hidden dangers. To help keep kids safe, Prevent Blindness, a national nonprofit organization, is providing safety tips and shopping advice.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety commission, toys are a leading cause of injury. More than 254,000 toy-related injuries were treated in U.S. emergency rooms in 2015, the most recent year of data available.
Prevent Blindness offers a host of recommendations, including:Make sure a toy is right for a child’s age and ability. Avoid toys with shooting or flying parts, or with sharp points or dangerous edges. Make sure a toy is labeled to meet safety standards from ASTM International. Provide eye protection with sports equipment. Do not give young children toys with small parts or long strings. Do not buy toys that contain small magnets, which can be dangerous if swallowed. Buy only nontoxic art supplies.
Read the full list at preventblindness.org/safe-toy-checklist.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration also has a safety message of its own. It warns parents that lasers—even those found in toys—can cause eye injuries and blindness. Check out important safety tips on the FDA’s website.
Some consumer groups also issue alerts about dangerous toys, including World Against Toys Causing Harm Inc., or WATCH. See its list of the 2017 toys to avoid at toysafety.org.