Shop Safe This Holiday Season

toy safety awarenessBy now, most children already have their wish lists prepared and gifts are being purchased for the holidays. While every parent wants to give their family the perfect presents, it is important to consider safety when shopping. Many toys that children ask for are actually not age appropriate and can create a variety of health risks. As you can imagine, emergency rooms see thousands of children on and around the holidays – treating choking incidents, cuts, burns, poisoning from toxic products and more. December has been named “Safe Toys and Gifts Month” to raise awareness of these risks. In attempt to keep the season merry and injury-free, Melissa O’Sullivan, FNP, and other LeBauer Primary Care providers have some tips for healthy holiday giving.

  1. When shopping, carefully examine the age restrictions on each toy’s box. These are in place to protect the safety of young children.
  2. Consider each child’s younger siblings. If there are multiple small children in a household, a toy with small parts may not be wise for anyone. To protect the entire family, small parts should be stored in sealed containers to prevent choking hazards.
  3. Toys purchased at yard sales, thrift stores or those handed down from sibling to sibling should be examined for safety. Toys are frequently subject to safety recalls, so it would be wise to check safekids.org before gifting a used toy.
  4. Inspect all toys that your children receive at school parties or family gatherings. Review the age recommendations and examine for small parts, sharp edges or other hazards like cords and ropes.
  5. If there is a child with special needs on your list, consider their unique skills and hindrances. Suggestions can be found at ableplay.org.

While we all want to give our children everything on their lists, remember that simple is often better! Melissa O’Sullivan, FNP, recalls her toddler enjoying boxes and tissue paper amidst a sea of toys one Christmas morning.

We hope these tips will help you be a mindful shopper over the coming weeks. And remember, if you do have an injury this holiday season, do not hesitate to seek prompt medical attention.

Happy Holidays from the LeBauer HealthCare team!

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