Preventing toy-related injuries during the holidays
Last year, toy-related injuries resulted in an estimated 174,000 emergency room visits, according to a November report by the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
"This is a joyous time of the year, and it's great for kids to be happy,” said Joe Ybarra, south regional medical director at Neighbor’s Health. “But it's very tragic when accidents happen."
Ybarra treats many children who are injured by toy parts. And during the holidays, he says, these are more prevalent.
"Parents have to be very diligent about what kind of toys they get for their kids, and make sure it's age appropriate and safe,” Ybarra said.
Valley resident Sandra Canales echoes that concern.
“I like to research anything that's going to come into the house, since we do have so many kids," Canales said.
Canales says she reads consumer reports and reviews before purchasing any toys for her nine children.
While Ybarra supports doing research online, he says parents should always use their best judgement.
"Even though we have some agencies that kind monitor safety, parents have the ultimate responsibility to make sure their kids are safe."
Here are additional safety tips for holiday shopping, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission:
- Check the label: Choose age appropriate toys by reading the age label on the toy. Children younger than 3 should not have access to toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Also avoid marbles and small balls for children under 3.
- Get safety gear. With scooters and other riding toys, supervision is key along with proper safety gear that includes helmets.
- Be careful with magnets: High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14. Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.