November 23, 1999
Safe Toys Help Ensure a Safe Holiday Season
Lincoln, NE (SafetyAlerts) - Nationally, more
than 100,000 children aged 14 and under are treated in emergency rooms every year for
toy-related injuries. The Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, SAFEKIDS Coalition recommends that
you avoid the following when selecting toys for your children:
- Toys with small, removable parts. Small parts can
be chewed on or swallowed by children under three, creating a choking hazard. Use a small
parts tester (which can be purchased at a toy or specialty store) to measure the size of
the toy or part. If the piece fits entirely inside the tester, it could be a choking
- Toys with sharp points or edges.
- Toys that make loud noises. Toy guns and
high-volume portable cassette recorders can permanently impair a childs hearing.
- Propelled toy darts and other projectiles
they can cause cuts or eye injuries.
- Toys with strings, straps, or cords longer than
seven inches. Long strings and cords can wrap around a childs neck and strangle him
Infants to age 1: activity quilts, stuffed
animals without button noses and eyes (because they can be pulled off and swallowed), bath
toys, soft dolls, baby swings, cloth books, and squeaky toys.
Ages 1 to 3: books, blocks, fit-together
toys, balls, push-and-pull toys, pounding toys, and shape toys.
Ages 3 to 5: non-toxic art supplies, books,
videos, musical instruments, and outdoor toys such as a baseball tee, slide, or swing.
Ages 5 to 9: craft materials, jump ropes,
puppets, books, electric trains, and sports equipment.
Ages 9 to 14: computers, microscopes, table
and board games, and outdoor and team sports equipment.
Other toy giving tips when buying bicycles,
tricycles, skateboards, or sleds: Giving a bike, skateboard, or sled? Include a
helmet as part of the gift. Bicycle helmets can reduce the risk of head injury by as much
as 85 percent.
- Buy reflective clothing, stickers, or bike
reflectors for any child who will be riding or skating in non-daylight hours.
- Give a bike horn or bell as a stocking stuffer.
- Include elbow pads, wrist guards, and kneepads when
giving in-line skates, roller skates, or skateboards as gifts.
- Give in-line skating lessons from a professional
instructor or a community recreation center. Providing good instruction helps a new skater
learn the right way to skate as well as good skating etiquette.
Source: Nebraska Department of Health and Human
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