Keep Your Family Safe During Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month

safe toys for kidsWhen December rolls around it tends to bring out the giving spirit in all of us. This means that we can easily be distracted from the safety issues with toys. It is natural to get excited about giving our children the gifts they want the most. Unfortunately, some toys have hidden dangers that can pose a threat to your children.

According to an estimation by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission there were an astounding 251,700 toy related injuries in the U.S. in 2010. Considering that 72% of those injuries were inflicted upon children less than 15 years of age, it is wise for us to pay closer attention to the toys we purchase. The organization Prevent Blindness America has dedicated the month of December as a Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness month.

This dedication to awareness is done with hopes to reduce the massive number of toy related injuries each year. It also aspires to ensure that parents and relatives pay closer attention to the toy recalls put out by manufacturers. In 2007 there were over 19 million toys recalled worldwide due to safety concerns ranging from small parts to lead paint. At Safe Touch Security, we care for your family as though it was our own, and we would like to remind everyone to consider these safety statistics and use caution when purchasing toys for your children.

One of the most important facts to remember when gift shopping is that even though a toy is listed as being within a child’s age range, it does not mean that that toy is appropriate for every individual child in that age range. Children are all remarkable and different, when purchasing toys for a child it is best to consider their developmental stage along with their age. This is especially true for infants and children that are under the age of three.

During this holiday season consider the following guidelines to help you choose toys that are safe for your children:

•    Carefully inspect toys and avoid toys that include shooting, small, and removal parts. Toys should be durable and able to handle rough play without falling apart easily.

• If purchasing gifts for children with special needs try to choose toys that will appeal to their individual senses with sound, texture, and movement. A great website to assist with appropriate toys is http://www.ableplay.org/.

• Carefully inspect all toys that your child receives to ensure that they are age appropriate and safe for your child.

• Be sure to look for labels that indicate that a toy has passed a safety inspection. The abbreviation “ATSM” indicates that a toy meets the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

•    Always include safety gear such as helmets, knee and elbow pads when giving children bikes, skateboards, and other types of sporting equipment.

• Be certain to educate yourself about the dangers of lead exposure related to toys. Older toys may be considered unsafe due to lead content in paint. Pay close attention to the toys your child plays with and encourage routine handwashing as an extra precaution.

•    Do NOT give toys with small parts such as tiny button shaped batteries and magnets. A good rule to follow is that if it will fit inside a toilet paper tube it is unsafe for children under three.

• Do NOT purchase or allow children to play with toys that have heating elements, cords, or ropes.

• Do NOT give crayons or markers unless they are specifically labeled as “nontoxic.”

You can also contact Prevent Blindness America at (800)331-2020 or visit their website at: www.preventblindness.org/children/safetoys.html for more information.

At Safe Touch, we always want to put your safety first. If your family is all set with safe toys and gifts for the holidays, consider a home security system to guard your most precious gifts, your children. Contact us today for a free home security audit so you can enjoy your holiday safely and worry-free.