COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — For many kids, the holiday season means new toys. But if you’re the one buying them, make sure you put safety at the top of your list.
“We want everyone to have a safe holiday season, and that means not celebrating in the emergency rooms or the hospitals,” said Judy Echavez with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Echavez said safety starts with buying the right gifts for kids.
“It is the gift-giving season, so we do see a lot more toy-related incidents that could occur, and these toy-related injuries and deaths impact thousands of children each year,” Echavez said.
A report released at the end of November by the commission found that in 2021, there were more than 152,000 toy-related injuries that sent children under 15 to the emergency department — including two deaths caused by choking or suffocating.
“So, we’re always reminding parents, grandparents, friends and families, to make sure that the gifts are age appropriate,” said Echavez.
Echavez suggested following the age guidance listed on the box and to keep small toys and toys with small parts away from children under the age of three. Once the gift is opened, toss the wrapping paper and packaging as soon as possible.
“You also want to make sure that when you’re buying a toy for one child, remember that there are other children that could be in the household that are younger children,” Echavez said.
And make sure the toy matches the child’s abilities and interests, including older, more active children.
“If you’re going to be buying any type of sporting equipment — skates, bicycles, scooters — make sure you also buy that safety equipment for your child.”
Once you make your purchase, no matter the product, Echavez said to call or go online and register it with the company.
“If they register the toy with the company and there is a recall in the future, the company will reach out to them directly,” Echavez said.
Before you buy, Echavez recommended checking check the list of recalled toys on the CSPC website. Because of online marketplaces or secondhand stores, there could be unsafe or illegal items that are still available for purchase, Echavez said.