Safety First: Accessories and Recalls

A little is wearing a helmet and putting on her rollerblades.Every kid dreams of the ultimate gift every year, a great new bike, a scooter, sports equipment and much more. But before you go spring for the most popular toy this holiday, you should consider a few safety guidelines. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2015. About 30% of those injured were children under the age of five. Following some simple guidelines will help keep your holiday fun and safe.

Pick age-appropriate toys – When considering gifts for your children, friends or family you want to make sure you pay attention to age ranges listed on the packaging. Toys for older age groups may have small pieces or projectiles that may be choking hazards to younger children.

Consider the quality of the gifts – Toys should be examined to make sure there are no cracks in the structure, no fraying of wires, make sure battery compartments are secure and small objects like buttons and eyes are thoroughly attached.  Good quality toys may also have higher safety ratings.

Make sure your child can physically handle the toy/device – Just like you should be mindful of the recommended age range of toys, you should think about what kinds of things your child can handle. Every child learns and develops at different rates. For example, don’t buy a bike frame that is too large for your child.

Add on the right accessories – Gifts like scooters, skates, bikes and the like should be alongside helmets, elbow pads and knee pads.

Another way to help ensure safety with gifts or new toys in the house is to keep your eye out for recalls. For more safety precautions and accessories, check with product manufacturers. There are many sites that list recalls by category. It may be helpful to keep some packaging or the receipt of an item to verify your items aren’t on the recall. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission features an on-going list of all recalls. Keep an eye on this site to see if anything you bought comes up.