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Brittany Michael

Toy safety around the holidays

This time of the year brings families together, celebration, good food and gift giving. It also is a time to stay up on recalls and warnings on children's toys as well as other household items to prevent injury or choking.

Statistics can be scary...

According to Safe Kids USA:

  • In the United States, more than 3 billion toys and games are sold annually.
  • Each year, approximately 15 children under age 14 years die from a toy-related incident.
  • Each year, approximately 217,000 toy-related injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms.
  • Children sustain approximately 18,000 suffocation injuries each year.

How can I protect my family?

  • First, you must always follow all manufacturers' age recommendations; these are created because of small parts choking hazards and developmental differences in ages.
  • Before shopping, check the US Consumer Product Safety Commission's website (or any other credible website) for updated recalls.
  • Make sure any strings on children's toys or beds do not have strings that are longer than 7 inches. (Any longer and there is a strangulation hazard)
  • Do not give your child hand-me-down toys older than 1978 because of paint containing lead.
  • Make sure the toy has no sharp edges or easily breakable.
  • Balloons are not appropriate for children under the age of 8; there is a huge choking risk.
  • Make sure art materials are labeled "Nontoxic"
  • Fabric toys should be labeled "flame resistant or flame retardant"
  • Do not give your child objects that are 1.75 inches (4.4 centimeters) in diameter or less because they present choking hazards.

Your child may be choking if he/she:

  • Is gasping or wheezing
  • Cannot talk, cry, breathe or make any noises
  • Face begins to turn blue
  • Appears panicked
  • Points to or grabs at their face or throat

Call 911 immediately! If you are trained, begin the Heimlich maneuver right away.

Recall and Information Websites:


Comments that are posted represent the opinion of the commenter and not the Northern Virginia Daily/nvdaily.com.


Author - Brittany Michael Author - Karen Poff Author - Karen Ridings Family & Human Development Family Financial Management Food, Nutrition, Health

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