"It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas," and everywhere we go we see new toys that our children want. During the holiday season, and all year long, make sure you don’t put your child at an increased risk for injury.
McLeod Safe Kids offers these tips when purchasing toys for children:
· Before shopping for toys, consider the child’s age, interest and abilities.
· Always read labels and look for age ranges and safety warnings for the toy.
· Children under age three put objects into their mouths and can choke. Be careful with small balls and parts.
· Read assembly instructions and keep them in case you have questions.
· Complete warranty cards—this is how manufacturers notify you of recalls.
· Remove and throw away all toy packaging before giving it to a baby or small child.
· Always supervise children while they play to avoid injury.
· Keep toys meant for older children away from younger children. These toys are inappropriate for younger children.
· Join in your child’s play. This adds to their fun and development.
Storage and Maintenance
· Check old and new toys regularly for damage such as sharp edges or loose small parts.
· Teach children to put away toys after play time.
· Store toys for older and younger children separately. Safe storage prevents falls and other injuries.
Another little-known risk for small children is batteries. Inside small electronic devices we find powerful coin-sized button batteries. When swallowed, these batteries can get stuck in a child’s throat and cause severe burns or death. Each year, children swallow about 3,500 of these batteries, and the damage is devastating.
If one of these batteries gets stuck in your child’s throat, they may require feeding and breathing tubes and multiple surgeries, if not death.
To keep your child safe from this risk:
· Keep devices with button batteries out of reach if the battery compartments are not secure, and lock away loose batteries.
· If a child swallows a button battery, go to the emergency department right away. Do not let the child eat or drink, and do not induce vomiting.
· Share this information with others. Make sure everyone who spends time with your child is aware of this risk.
Being proactive is key to injury prevention. Sign up to receive product recalls with the Consumer Product Safety Commission at http://www.cpsc.gov/.
For more information on preventing childhood injury, please call McLeod Safe Kids at (843) 777-5021. You can also visit http://www.McLeodSafeKids.org/ or find the group on Facebook under McLeod Safe Kids.
McLeod Safe Kids Pee Dee/Coastal is funded in part by the McLeod Health Foundation.