Happy December! It’s Safe Toys & Gifts Awareness Month, as declared by Prevent Blindness America. The group encourages everyone to consider if the toys they wish to give suits the age and individual skills and abilities of the individual child who will receive it, especially for infants and children under age three. Each year, thousands of children suffer serious eye injuries, even blindness, from toys.
Toy Selection Guidelines
Before you purchase a toy:
- Read all warnings and instructions on the box.
- Ask yourself if the toy is right for your child’s ability and age.
- Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods, or dangerous edges.
- Check the lenses and frames of children’s sunglasses; many can break and cause injuries.
- Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards.
- Look for the letters “ASTM.” This means the product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM).
- Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.
Remember that BB guns are NOT toys.
Before letting children play with toys:
- Inspect toys for safe, sturdy construction.
- Explain how to use the toy.
- Fix or throw away broken toys.
- Keep young children away from toys meant for older children.
- Supervise your children while playing.
- Store toys properly after play to avoid risks or falls.
- Supervise children’s craft projects (scissors and glue can be extremely dangerous to a child’s eyesight).
- Have children wear the right eye protection for sports (face shields, helmets, eyeguards).
For more information about toy safety, check the following links:
Trouble in Toyland (U.S. Public Interest Research Group)
Choosing Safe Toys (KidsHealth)
Toy Safety Guides (U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission)
Take a Toy Safety Quiz – https://www.facebook.com/U.S.PIRG/app_593735837348169
Download a Toy Safety Brochure – http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Media/Documents/Safety-Education/Safety-Guides/Toys/281/