MADISON, Wis. – Soon children will be eagerly opening presents. To ensure this is a safe and happy holiday gift giving season, UW Health officials are offering toy safety reminders.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that emergency rooms treated 198,000 toy-related injuries in 2020.
The most important things parents or guardians can do is to make sure toys are age appropriate, keep an eye on the child and look out for broken toys, according to Rishelle Eithun, program manager for injury prevention, UW Health Kids.
“Kids love this time of year and they make important childhood memories during the holiday season,” said Eithun. “But we want to offer tips to minimize the risk of injury at home. The last thing a family wants is to spend the holiday in the emergency department because of a toy-related injury.”
UW Health Kids follows guidance from the annual Trouble in Toyland report to call attention to the biggest toy safety issues.
- For young children:
- Watch out for toy parts that could be choking hazards or swallowed.
- Noisy toys (above 90 decibels) could impact a child’s hearing.
- If an older child receives a toy that isn’t appropriate for all ages, make sure the toy is kept away from younger children.
- For older children who receive smart or internet-connected devices:
- Ensure privacy protections are in place.
- Talk to older kids about healthy usage of smart devices including the risks to mental health.
- Loud volumes can also impact an older child’s hearing.
- For gift givers, read reviews and be mindful of recalls and counterfeits. Counterfeits are not regulated in the same way as original toys and can be dangerous.