Avoiding Toy-Related Injuries this Holiday Season

December is Safe Toys and Gifts Month. A pediatrician goes over some safety tips to keep in mind when picking out presents for kids.

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CLEVELAND – December marks Safe Toys and Gifts Month.

And as you’re making your shopping list and checking it twice, it’s a good reminder to think about toy safety when picking out presents for kids.

“Certain toys are geared for certain age groups. You want to buy things that are developmentally appropriate for the child’s motor and language skills, so you can encourage and nurture those things,” explained Gina Robinson, MD, a pediatrician for Cleveland Clinic Children’s. “You also want to be aware if toys aren’t safe for younger kids because of small pieces, batteries or other reasons.”

To help avoid toy-related injuries, Dr. Robinson said it’s important to read labels closely.

You want to follow the recommended age range on toys as well as look out for any warnings on the box.

Not only do toys that contain small batteries or magnets pose a potential choking hazard, but they can also cause internal damage if swallowed.

When it comes to video games and movies, Dr. Robinson urges parents to look at ratings to make sure the content is appropriate for kids.

It’s also crucial to keep video games and toys for older kids out of reach from younger kids in the same household – especially if there’s a potential choking hazard.

“I encourage parents to keep older siblings’ toys in a place where younger children in the house can’t access them,” Dr. Robinson said. “It’s important to remind older siblings to keep their things in this designated area so their younger brother or sister can’t get ahold of something they shouldn’t.”

Dr. Robinson adds if you’re giving something like a bike or scooter, make sure to buy the safety equipment that goes along with those gifts.

Wearing a helmet and other safety gear is a good thing to practice year-round.

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