GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. - Everyone likes to hear kids squeal with delight when they are opening presents, but sometimes those toys end up causing pain and misery. Last year alone, more than a quarter of a million children were treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries.
But that doesn't have to happen. The School of Early Childhood Education atRasmussen College has put together five tips for safe toy giving.
Rasmussendean CeCe Westby shared the following tips on KARE 11 News at 4.
Pick age-appropriate toys: Take into account the "recommended age" sticker posted on toys, but also be realistic about your child's abilities and maturity level. For example, this year's best sellers Legends of Chima "The Lion CHI Temple"Lego set or the Sparkle Loom Bracelet Maker contain small pieces which are never suitable for children under four, and even some 8-year-olds aren't ready to handle them.
Think big (or bigger): Toddlers and babies like to chomp things. Until they reach the age of three, all toy parts should be bigger than his/her mouth to prevent the possibility of choking. A quick at-home test to determine whether a toy poses a choking risk is to try fitting it through a paper towel roll. If it fits, it's not safe.
A classic best seller, the "Fisher-Price Little People Fun Sounds Farm" play set, has plus-sized animals safe for toddlers to enjoy.
Look for sturdy and strong: Well-made toys are the best (and safest) toys for kids. Parts should be securely attached and ready for hard play. The durable design of this year's VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station play set, Doc McStuffins Get Better Checkup Center and the LeapFrog LeapPad Ultra's tough frame make them perfect holiday gifts for hands-on learning.
Also check for small parts or components that could easily break. Watch for sharp and protruding edges. With wood toys, make sure there is no possibility of splintering.
Projectile Problems: Toys that shoot objects into the air can cause serious eye injuries and present choking hazards. You can still buy toys with projectile parts, like the popular Nerf Rebelle Heartbreaker Bow, but make sure the kids who receive it are old enough and have appropriate eye-protection.
Beware of Magnets: Building sets, action figures, dolls and other craft toys today often contain magnets that can be extremely dangerous. If swallowed by children, magnets can tear tissue and cause damage to the intestines. So we recommend a magnet-free stocking for the little ones!