“Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can quickly turn tragic if we’re not careful,” said Bridget Boyd, MD, pediatric safety expert at Loyola University Health System. “Sometimes in our attempts to make Christmas extra special for our kids and grandkids, safety can get lost in the mix.”
The following tips may help you choose safer toys and be safety alert on Christmas morning:
Follow age recommendations
Even if you think your child is smart enough to handle a toy recommended for an older child, remember that a lot of planning is put into age ratings. There may be safety risks that aren’t apparent to you.
Avoid toy sets with small magnets
The number of children swallowing small magnets is growing. When swallowed these magnets can lead to serious injury and even death.
Watch out for small round batteries
Small round lithium batteries can be swallowed by children. If swallowed, the batteries may cause internal chemical burns. Even if the batteries are enclosed in a compartment with a screw, you must monitor the security of the compartment. Also be alert to regular household items that use these types of batteries including radios, remote controls, clocks, etc.
Toys with strings and straps can be dangerous
Toys with strings or cords can pose a strangulation hazard to small children. Watch out for toys such as toy guitars and pull toys.
Remove plastic film from toys
Plastic film on toys and/or their packaging represents a choking hazard. Check all toys before you allow children to play with them.
Monitor your children as they unwrap presents
Watch your children unwrap presents and remove any ribbons, strings or plastic packaging that could be dangerous.