Avoiding Toy Hazards

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Avoiding Toy Hazards

Keeping things fun and safe
ToyChoking: The #1 danger
For children under 4, watch out for:

  • Toys with small parts (like button eyes on animals or dolls and wheels on trains or cars) that can be pulled loose.
  • Crib or floor toys with cord or string: Can strangle babies.
  • Balloons: If popped and put in mouth, breathing can be blocked. Don’t let kids under 8 play with them unattended.
  • Shrink-wrap, plastic straps, and bolts used to package toys.
  • Button batteries: Even if a child swallows one without choking, the electric currents can damage the esophagus. Get him to the ER immediately — removing it may require surgery.


Preventing riding-toy injuries

  • Make sure your child always wears her helmet and other protective gear on a bike, a scooter, skates, or a skateboard; sporting-goods stores can help you get a good fit.
  • She should be able to touch the ground with the balls of her feet when she sits on a bike seat.
  • She shouldn’t wear loose clothing or scarves, which could get caught in the bike’s pedals and choke her; also, no sandals, so her feet stay on the pedals.
  • Until a child is at least 10, she’ll need to be with an adult to ride in the street.

More Tips to Prevent Riding Toy Injuries

ToyWhen to get medical help after a fall

Most bumps on the head need only an ice pack and some TLC, but take your child to the ER if any of these occur:

  • Loss of consciousness — even for a moment
  • Vomiting, especially if it’s frequent or continuous
  • Slurred speech or “goofy” behavior
  • A seizure (call 911; do not transport or move your child)

To check for a broken bone, gently press along the length of the bone — if your child winces at a certain spot, it might be a fracture. Other signs: swelling, bruising, tenderness, deformity.

If a cut or scrape won’t stop bleeding after pressure is applied for ten minutes, is deep, has an object embedded in it, or looks like it might be infected, see a doctor.


ToySmart toy habits

  • Loud toys can cause hearing loss. Toy noise and music should be no louder than 90 decibels (about as loud as a blender) and 70 decibels if it’s meant to be held close to the ear.
  • Throw out (or repair) broken toys. Look for ripped seams on soft toys, where small parts could be exposed; splinters or chipped paint on wooden toys; rust on outdoor playthings.
  • Respect the age range. Your 2-year-old may well be gifted, but “for children 3 and up” doesn’t refer to intelligence; it’s a rating designed to prevent choking and other physical hazards.
  • Try the toilet paper roll test: If a toy or part can fit through it, a child under 4 can choke on it. Very dangerous: rubber balls.
  • Stay on top of toy safety with our Product Recall Alerts
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