Remember a few years ago when millions of toys were recalled shortly before the holiday season? Since then, much has been done to keep kids safe from toys and every year since 2008 the number of toy recalls has been on the decline. This is good news for parents who are searching for that perfect holiday toy – and even better news for kids!
Injuries and death from toys are also on the decline. Toy-related death reports to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) involving children younger than 15-years-old decreased to 13 in 2011 from 19 fatalities in 2010 and 17 reported in 2009. The majority of these toy-related fatalities were attributed to asphyxiation, choking or drowning.
A new report (PDF) recently released by CPSC estimated 193,200 toy-related, emergency department-treated injuries to children younger than 15 years of age occurred in 2011. Many of the incidents were associated with, but not necessarily caused by, a toy. What is the top offender? For children younger than 15-years-old, non-motorized scooters continued to be the category of toys associated with the most injuries.
Kids aren’t completely out of the woods when it comes to toy injuries. Here are some safety tips to keep in mind this holiday season:
- Balloons – Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than 8-years-old. Discard broken balloons immediately.
- Small balls and other toys with small parts – For children younger than age 3, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Many toys are marked whether they are safe for children younger than age 3.
- Scooters and other riding toys – Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit.
- Magnets – High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children younger than age 14. Building & play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.