Holiday Toy Safety

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The biggest threat to the health of children older than 1 year is not disease, but accidental injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year thousands of children suffer injuries from toys severe enough to be treated in a hospital emergency room. Dr. Rebecca Santos, a pediatrician with Novant Health Pediatrics South End, shared these guidelines to help keep the holiday season safe for your youngsters:

  • Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that fly off.
  • Choose toys made of durable materials with no sharp edges or points.
  • Don't give young children toys with small parts. Toddlers tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.
  • Choose age-appropriate toys. Age labeling is provided for developmental and safety reasons.
  • To avoid serious ear injury, don't buy toys that make loud or shrill noise.
  • Choose well-made stuffed animals. Eyes, noses, and other small parts should be securely fastened.
  • Inspect older toys for broken or sharp edges, loose parts, and loose strings or ribbons.
  • Look for the letters ASTM. These indicate that a toy or product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.