Toy Safety – First with Kids – UVM Children’s Hospital

(Deck the Halls Christmas Song) – With the holidays approaching families have been shopping for some information in regard to buying safe toys for their children this year Fortunately, I have a direct line to Santa, who's the expert when it comes to safe toys

He wanted me to share with you the following information First, please read the labels before buying any toy to learn about what ages the toy is safe for, how to use it, whether adult supervision is recommended for assembly or use, and to make sure toxins or chemicals like lead, that we've been hearing about in the news, have not been used in making that toy Think big when it comes to buying a toy Bigger than your child's mouth so as to prevent choking And again, check labels to make sure there are no small parts that can be choking hazards

Older kids should put their toys with small parts away, so smaller children can't find them for just the same reason Avoid toys that shoot small objects into the air, to again, avoid choking or eye injuries Yes, they do occur And avoid toys that make loud or shrill noises that can potentially damage a child's hearing Make sure batteries and battery-powered toys are secured so small children can't get them open and choke or swallow them, which if that should happen, is a medical emergency

Make sure a toy is sturdy Parts of a stuffed animal, for example, should be sewn on securely and that same stuffed animal should be washable and made with flame-resistant or flame-retardant materials Crib toys should not have strings or wires longer than seven inches that an infant can get caught on or around and accidentally strangle themselves So after all that, what kind of toys should you get? Choose toys that are based on the developmental level of your child that will play to their physical and mental abilities to use that toy appropriately Your pediatrician or child health care professional can make suggestions specific to the age and developmental level of your child

All you need to do is ask And don't forget that a book makes a great gift for children of all ages If you have any concerns about a toy, check the Consumer Products Safety Commission website wwwcpscgov to see if a particular toy has a problem, or has been recalled

Hopefully, tips like this will wrap up any concerns you have when it comes to giving your child the gift of a safe toy This is pediatrician Dr Lewis First, from The University of Vermont Children's Hospital wishing everybody happy holidays and to remind you to always be first with your kids


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