Toy Safety Tips

You don’t have to be a Grinch, but you should focus on safety when purchasing toys for children this year to avoid possible injury and tears.

“It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and even nostalgia of buying toys for children, but it’s important to purchase toys that don’t bring unnecessary risk with them to the home,” said Steven Lillpop, MD, with Memorial Medical Group in Jacksonville. “The last thing we want is an emergency department trip as a result of playtime.”

Here are some things to consider when shopping for the favorite child in your life this holiday season:

  • Find age-specific toys – keep the puzzles and board games for older kids and sturdy plastic toys for younger ones.
  • Firmly secure all batteries so they aren’t accessible to little ones.
  • Avoid sharp edges or points that could injure a child in a fall.
  • Flying toys or toys that shoot objects can be problematic.
  • Make sure your child wears a helmet when riding scooters, skateboards, bicycles.
  • Go big. Small toys or toys with small parts can pose a potential choking hazard.
  • Consider cords and strings on toys as well as magnets, batteries and electric elements (look for UL Approved).
  • Stuffed animals should be well-constructed without ribbons, buttons or loose parts that could come off.

“Supervision is always key, but you can also create storage options to keep your older children’s toys separate from the younger ones,” Lillpop said. “Pay attention to the child’s developmental level when choosing toys and her ability to play with or even understand how to use the toy. Definitely check labels and follow the manufacturer’s instructions especially for those toys that require you to put them together.”

Despite all precautions, accidents can still happen. Don’t hesitate to visit your nearest Memorial Health emergency department if your child is hurt or injured with locations at:

Decatur Memorial Hospital
Jacksonville Memorial Hospital
Lincoln Memorial Hospital
Springfield Memorial Hospital
Taylorville Memorial Hospital

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