By Virgilio Munoz, Safety Officer, Kenner Army Health ClinicDecember 10, 2015
FORT LEE, Va. (Dec. 10, 2015) -- All sorts of gadgets, games and action figures can be found on store shelves, and youngsters can hardly wait to see what lands under the tree on Christmas morning. In all this excitement, it's important to stop and think about holiday toy safety. The following are toy safety tips to consider while purchasing products and providing supervision of play activities:
• Select toys to suit the age, ability, skill and interest level of the intended child. Toys too advanced may pose safety hazards for younger children.
• Carefully read directions before buying a toy or allowing a child to play with it after he or she has it received as a gift.
• To prevent both burns and electrical shocks, do not give young children (under age 10) a toy that must be plugged into an electrical outlet. Instead, consider toys that are battery-operated.
• Avoid purchasing toys with small parts; young children can choke on tiny pieces contained in toys or games.
• Remove tags, strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children.
• Watch for pull toys with strings that are more than 12 inches in length. They could be a strangulation hazard for babies.
• Parents should store toys in a designated location, such as on a shelf or in a toy chest, and keep older kids' toys away from young children.
Proper supervision of children at play is still -- and always will be -- the best way to protect children from toy-related injuries.
See more holiday safety tips by visiting www.aap.org and typing "holiday" in the search window.
Protecting children from unsafe toys is the responsibility or parents and guardians. The Consumer Product Safety Commission provides free safety alerts, guides, posters, brochures, handbooks and other materials that can used to help educate and spread consumer product safety information. For details, visit www.cpsc.gov/.