Campus News Banner


Think Safety When Shopping
for Toys During the Holidays

By Tammy J. Gay

 

Small UK Logo

"As parents, we have to buy our children toys that are safe for them. We want our children to have fun, but we also need them to be safe."

-- Sherri Hannan, R.N., coordinator of the Fayette County SAFE KIDS Coalition, led by the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital

Small UK Logo

Lexington, Ky. (Nov. 26, 2002) -- Making playtime a safe time starts at the toy store. During the holiday season, make sure you think safety first when shopping for Santa.

Children spend large parts of their day at play. This time is important for their overall growth and development so parents need to be aware of age-appropriate toys.

"As parents, we have to buy our children toys that are safe for them," said Sherri Hannan, R.N., coordinator of the Fayette County SAFE KIDS Coalition, led by the University of Kentucky Children's Hospital. "We want our children to have fun, but we also need them to be safe."

Choking on small toy parts, rubber balloons and small balls continues to be the leading cause of toy-related deaths. From 1990 to 1999, at least 190 children in the United States died from playing with toys, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission.

"With children under 3, avoid toys with small parts that can be swallowed or inhaled," Hannan said. "If a toy will fit in a toilet paper roll, it's too small."

In addition to choking hazards, parents need to be aware of riding toys for their older children. When buying a bike, skateboard, inline skates or scooter, buy the related safety equipment, too. Scooters should not be used by children under 8, should not be ridden at night, and should be ridden only on sidewalks with smooth surfaces.

"Be sure to enforce the helmet rule from the first time they use their new toy so they will always use their helmet," Hannan said.

Hannan also offers the following safety tips when buying toys:

-- Follow the recommended age labeling as a guide and look for safety messages on packages.

-- Consider that toys intended for older children could be dangerous in the hands of a younger child, and teach the older child to keep their toys out of the reach of their younger siblings.

-- Check for objects that can be pulled or bitten off stuffed animals. These objects also could be a choking hazard.

-- Don't buy your child an ATV or a motorized vehicle. Find toys without batteries or motors that your child can pedal or run by him or herself.

-- After buying safe toys, parents also need to supervise their children while they play to avoid injury. This can easily be done by joining play time.


Back to Campus News Homepage