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Hope and Health

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Hope & Health
Articles and Updates from WVU Medicine Children's

12/4/2023 | Injury Prevention and Safety Program

Are Your Holiday Gifts Safe?

It’s that time of year again. We are all looking for that perfect toy to bring a smile to our little one’s face. While you are walking the aisles or scrolling on your screen looking for gifts, have you ever stopped andthought about what toys are safe?

We all know how busy things are around the holidays and especially when we are shopping, likely withone kid hanging off a leg while the other grabs all the candy on the shelf.

No matter the toy you choose for a special holiday gift, these are a few things you should always do:

  1. Be sure to provide the necessary safety equipment for toys’ use.
  2. Make sure toys are age appropriate.
  3. Always provide adequate caregiver supervision based on the toy’s recommendations.

Read Toy Labels

Some toys contain button batteries that can pose serious health risks to small children. Toys with these small dangers might end up in the hands of a very curious toddler leading to accidental ingestion, esophageal issues, vomiting, breathing problems, or intestinal blockages. Any of those could ruin much more than just the holiday season.

Again, make sure you are purchasing age-appropriate toys and reading the instructions carefully can prevent an unwanted hospital stay.

Don’t Forget a Helmet

Are you purchasing a bicycle, skateboard, or hoverboard? Maybe even one of those toddler tricycles? Head injuries can happen in seemingly unlikely times and with not as much force as you think. All riding toys with one, two, three, or four wheels needs to have a size appropriate helmet for the rider. Additionally, wagons should also only contain the manufacturer’s permitted number of riders and be controlled by adults. You don’t want to see a bobsled racing towards your neighbor’s fence this winter!

Beware of Cords and Strings

Toys with cords or long strings, like play telephones or kites, should be monitored closely. A cord or string length of seven inches or more can be a potential choking hazard. Make sure cords and wires are up out of reach and monitored closely. Anything plugged into an outlet should be out of sight and reach of children.

Be Cautious of Sharp Edges

Who doesn’t love a pretend sword? Do you have a kiddo who thinks they are a Ninja Turtle? So much fun! However, be cautious of those sharp edges. Even a pretend foam sword could have much more rigid construction on the inside. Also, rips or tears can happen at the end of the sword creating sharp edges which can puncture skin.

Giving safe toys leads to hours of fun and avoids unecessary a hospital stays.

Learn more about the WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program and use their resources.

Happy Holidays!

About the Author

Each year, around one in four children sustain an unintentional injury that requires medical care. The WVU Medicine Children’s Injury Prevention and Safety Program provides childproofing education to prevent those injuries. The team consists of Coordinator Remington Rasel, Injury Prevention Specialist Kalie Perdue, and Injury Prevention Specialist Abby Rader.  This group also provides car seat safety education, including car seat inspections and installations. 

Learn more about the Injury Prevention and Safety Program and use their resources.

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