Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety

Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety

Tuesday Dec. 24, 2019
Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety
The biggest threat to the health of children older than 1 year is not disease. It's accidental injury. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year thousands of children suffer injuries from toys severe enough to be treated in a hospital emergency room.

This time of year, can be especially challenging with the abundance of toys. Margaret Lott, M.D., an internal medicine and pediatrician with the Broward Health Physician Group, offers a few tips on how to prevent injuries by taking proper precautions.

“When your child receives a gift, be sure to read the label and instructions. Warning labels give important information about safety and recommended ages,” she said.
 
Young children are at higher risk for toy related injuries. With this in mind, avoid placing stuffed animals and blankets in cribs with children under 6 months of age to reduce the risk of suffocation, Lott recommended.
 
Remove tags, strings and ribbons from toys before giving them to young children. “Parents and caregivers will want to especially watch for pull toys with strings. The strings can pose a strangulation risk for young children,” Lott said.
 
Toys that plug into an electric outlet can place children at risk for burns and electric shock. Purchase battery-operated toys for children under 10 years old. However, use caution with toys containing button batteries or magnets. Make sure the battery is in a secured compartment that cannot be accessed by the child.

For the child who was gifted a digital device, be mindful of how often the tablet, smartphone and gaming system are used. “Ideally, screen time would be limited to two hours daily,” Lott said. For older children and teenagers, teach them how to navigate online interactions with peers and strangers.  
Broward Health, providing service for more than 80 years, is a nationally recognized system in South Florida that offers world-class healthcare to all. The Broward Health system includes the statutory teaching hospital Broward Health Medical Center, Broward Health North, Broward Health Imperial Point, Broward Health Coral Springs, Salah Foundation Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston, Broward Health Community Health Services, Broward Health Physician Group, Broward Health Urgent Care, Broward Health International, and Broward Health Foundation. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.