Every once in a while, we use the Blogto keep you aware of important health observances. December has a particularly interesting and timely observance as we move further into the holiday season – Safe Toys and Gifts Month.
Has your practice considered sharing ideas for how patients can keep their children safe during the holiday excitement? The Consumer Product Safety Commission estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries in 2011, with 72% of those occurring in children below 15 years of age. While those are eye-opening statistics, there are lots of toy safety tips you can communicate to patients.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts shared this list of nine tips on their blog:
- Children under three years old tend to put everything in their mouths, so avoid buying toys that have small parts and may pose a choking danger. Look for quality in design and construction, and follow age and safety recommendations on labels.
- Consider purchasing a small parts tester to determine whether small toys for children under the age of three might present a choking hazard.
- Toys with strings, straps, or cords longer than seven inches may pose a risk of strangulation.
- Toys that are constructed with thin, brittle plastic might easily break into small pieces or leave jagged edges.
- Avoid cap guns because the caps can be ignited by the slightest friction and cause serious burns.
- Avoid toys with sharp points or edges, toys that produce loud sounds, or projectiles (such as dart and firing rockets).
- If you buy a bicycle for a child, buy a helmet too and make sure the child wears it.
- Make recommendations to family members and friends about gifts that you feel are appropriate for your child.
- Inspect all toys as much as possible before taking them out of the box. Once opened, go through each part of the toy to make sure there are no small parts that could be choking hazards.