The holiday season is a wonderful time to give gifts to the children in our lives, but pediatricians at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health encourage gift givers to exercise caution when selecting presents for little ones.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, hospital emergency rooms in the U.S. treated approximately 226,100 toy-related injuries in 2018, the most recent year of the report, with approximately 73 percent of those younger than age 15.
“People are excited about gift giving at this time of year. We all want to give our children and grandchildren the new toys they desire, but shoppers need to remember several safety factors before they make their purchases,” said Edward Clark, M.D., Chief of Pediatrics for Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health.
The pediatricians at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health offer the following tips for shoppers:
· Look for age appropriate labels on toys. The toy should suit the age and individual skills and abilities of the child who will receive it, especially if the recipient is younger than three years of age.
· Look for safety inspection labels.
· Avoid toys that shoot, have parts that fly off, have points or sharp edges.
· Make sure that toys are not too loud and will not cause hearing damage if the child holds it to his or her ear.
· Choose sturdy toys that will not break easily.
· Choose crayons and markers that are designated “nontoxic.”
· Toys made with fabric should be labeled as flame resistant or flame retardant. Plush toys should be washable.
· Include protective equipment with sporting equipment – for example, give a helmet and protective padding when giving a bicycle or skates.
· Toys with magnets and button batteries may cause serious injury or death if swallowed. Do not give gifts that contain these or any small parts to young children.
· Avoid toys with ropes, cords and heating elements.
· Show your children how to use the toy safely, and always supervise children as they play.
In addition, older toys may contain lead-based paint. Try to choose toys that use lead free paint. As a precaution, parents should educate themselves on symptoms of lead poisoning and be aware of toys that have been recalled due to lead exposure. Parents should contact a physician if they believe their child has been exposed to lead.
“Toys are a fun and educational part of any child’s development. Children thrive when parents, grandparents or other loved ones carefully choose their toys and supervise their play,” said Dr. Clark.
The Pediatric Emergency Center at Beverly Knight Olson Children’s Hospital, Navicent Health was designed specifically for children and families, and is staffed by board-certified pediatric specialists. Located at 888 Pine Street in Macon, care is available 24 hours a day, whenever injury or illness occur.
About Navicent Health
Navicent Health, the leading provider of healthcare in central and south Georgia, is committed to its mission of elevating health and wellbeing through compassionate care. Providing more than 1,000 beds and offering care in 53 specialties at more than 50 facilities throughout the region, Navicent Health provides care for healthcare consumers’ through an academic medical center; community, pediatric and rehabilitation hospitals; urgent care centers; physician practices; diagnostic centers; home health; hospice and palliative care; and a life plan community. Navicent Health is dedicated enhancing health and wellness for individuals throughout the region through nationally-recognized quality care, community health initiatives and collaborative partnerships. For more information, please visit www.navicenthealth.org.