Wednesday, November 28, 2012

11 Ways to Protect Your Kids During the Holidays

We’ve worn the silly and scary costumes and stuffed our faces with turkey and pie and now it’s almost everyone’s favorite time of the year—present time! You may be excited because it’s time for your favorite traditions, time to decorate your house and, time to bake holiday treats, but your kids are just excited because they’re about to get new toys and gadgets to keep them occupied for the next year. Now we don’t want to be the Grinch, but it is important to know that the toys and gadgets you or your family members buy for your kids are safe.

Here are 11 easy ways to ensure that your kids aren’t in any danger this holiday season:

  1. Make recommendations to family members and friends about gifts that you feel are appropriate for your child.  Be diligent about inspecting these gifts before allowing your child to play with them.
  2. Inspect all toys before purchasing.  Monitor toys that your child has received as gifts to make sure they are appropriate for your child’s age and developmental level.
  3. For younger children, avoid play sets with small magnets and make sure batteries are secured within the toy. If magnets or batteries are ingested, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
  4. Sports equipment gifts should always be accompanied by protective gear (such as a basketball along with eye goggles, or a face guard with a new batting helmet for baseball or softball).
  5. Any toy that is labeled “supervision required” must always be used in the presence of an adult.  Keep toys meant for older children away from younger ones.
  6. Always save the warranties and directions for every toy. If possible, include a gift receipt.  Repair or throw away damaged toys.
  7. Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
  8. Inspect toys for sturdiness. Your child’s toys should be durable, with no sharp edges or points. The toys should also withstand impact.  Dispose of plastic wrapping material immediately on toys as they may have sharp edges.
  9. Don’t give toys with small parts to young children. Young kids tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.  If the part of a toy can fit in a toilet paper roll, the toy is not appropriate for children under the age of 3.
  10. Do not purchase toys with long strings or cords, especially for infants and very young children, as they can become wrapped around a child’s neck.
  11. Always dispose of uninflated or broken balloons immediately. According to the CPSC, more children have suffocated from these than any other type of toy.

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