Safe Toys for ChildrenSomehow, it is already that time of year again when the malls become increasingly crowded and images of Santa Claus remind us every day that time is winding down until Christmas.

The weeks leading up to the holidays are often very hectic, with so many people, and children, we have to find gifts for. Sometimes it isn’t always about finding the right gift; it is about finding something, anything, and moving on to the next person on our list!

As a result, something that can be neglected is toy safety.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) estimates that in 2010, 181,224 children under 15 years old were admitted to the hospital because of an injury from a toy. Because nearly half of the patients sustained facial or eye injuries, Prevent Blindness America stepped in and declared December as Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month.

Prevent Blindness America recommends that shoppers keep the following in mind when shopping for children this Christmas:

  • Inspect toys before purchasing, making sure it is appropriate for the child’s age and developmental level.
  • Do not buy toys with small parts for children. This includes toys that require batteries that are easily accessible. Small parts and batteries can be choking hazards and can be toxic. Any piece that can fit through a toilet paper roll is too small for children under 3 years old.
  • Ensure that the toy is durable. If it breaks, it can create small pieces that can be choked on, or pieces that are jagged and sharp.
  • Look for labels on the box that states that the toy has met the American Society for Testing and Materials standards.

Finally, it is important for gift givers and for parents to keep an eye on recalled toys. Be sure to periodically check the following lists for toy hazard recalls and for toy recalls based on risks such as lead poisoning, strangulation, etc.

Whether you are shopping for children or have children of your own, take a moment to think about the toys you plan on buying this Christmas and if they meet the standards listed above.

American Adoptions hopes your family has a happy, and above all, safe holiday!