The holidays are an exciting time for families to spend quality time together, exchange gifts, and be thankful. If you have young children in your life, you probably know first-hand that there’s nothing like seeing their eyes light up when they unwrap presents and find that special toy or gift they were hoping to get.
But before you start crossing items off your holiday shopping list, it’s important to remember that certain products can be hazardous to small children. Prevent Blindness America, the nation’s oldest eye health and safety nonprofit organization, has declared December to be National Safe Toys and Gifts Month. As such, we would like to take this time to spread awareness about the importance of buying safe gifts for children during this time of year.
Toy-Related Injury Statistics
Child injuries caused by toys and other gifts are far from a rare occurrence. In fact, a 2018 report released by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) found that there were about 251,700 toy-related injuries in 2017 that were treated at emergency rooms. Of those injuries, about:
- 73% occurred to children 15 years old or younger
- 69% occurred to children 12 years old or younger
- 36% occurred to children younger than 5 years old
- 38% were classified as lacerations, contusions, or abrasions
- 44% were to the head or face area (the most commonly injured area of the body)
Additionally, there were 13 toy-related deaths to children 15 years old or younger, with 54% of these deaths involving riding toys.
Safe Toy Checklist for Young Children
As December is the biggest gift-giving month of the year, it’s important to always keep safety at the top of your mind. Here are some simple things to remember when you begin your gift shopping this year:
- Keep both age and skill level in mind
- Inspect all toys for sharp edges, shooting parts, or broken pieces before purchasing
- Look for nontoxic messaging and ASTM, meaning that the product has passed safety inspections by the American Society for Testing and Materials
- Give the proper safety equipment with toys that require it (i.e., give helmets with gifts of bicycles, skateboards, and scooters)
- Avoid toys with small parts, which can become choking hazards for children
- Do not let younger siblings play with gifts intended for older siblings
- Constantly check for toy recalls
If your child is injured this holiday season due to a hazardous or defective product, you may . have legal options. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to Fowler Helsel Vogt at (559) 900-1280 to learn more about how we may be able to assist your family during this time.