It’s that time of year again…time for Christmas Trees and Menorahs, Santa Clause and the Nutcracker, family feasts and traveling, along with so much more. The holidays are almost here! And, if you are a parent, that means you probably have ton of shopping to take care of for all of your friends and loved ones; perhaps most importantly, your children.
The holidays are definitely a stressful time, particularly for parents. According to the American Psychological Association, “the APA showed that more than eight out of 10 Americans anticipate stress during the holiday season. Money, in particular, can be a cause of stress, as parents feel demands to purchase gifts, decorations, and other items tied to the holiday celebrations.” That’s why the last thing you want to have to worry about when buying gifts for your children is if the product is safe. You have more than enough to contend with planning dinners and other events, decorating, visiting family, and much, much more.
Encouragingly, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) has reported a decrease in the overall number of toys that are recalled. As reported by CPSC, “injuries do happen, including over 180,000 in 2014 along with 11 deaths.” With this in mind, we’ve put together a list of tips to help you protect yourself from “dangerous toys” and having a disastrous holiday season.
5 tips parents should keep in mind when buying gifts for their children
Buy toys that are age appropriate
Buying toys that are suitable for the age of your child is essential to their safety. A source from the Better Parenting Institute reported that “Play is so important in the social, mental, physical, and emotional development of children. Toys should be thought of as development learning tools.”
Carefully read labels
You can improve your child’s safety by avoiding toys with known hazards. Do some research and find out which toys may have small parts that can come off, or include small balls or balloons that may pop or be swallowed. This will help you as a guideline for whether a desired toy is appropriate or not for your child.
Get safety gear
A popular holiday gift for children is a riding toy such as roller skates, skateboards, scooters, and bikes. These riding toys can go fast and falls can be deadly. If you buy your child a riding toy, be sure to also buy a helmet and safety pads. You should also talk to your child to encourage him or her to always wear them when riding their toy. Furthermore, tell them to avoid riding on streets or roadways.
Beware of magnets
Thankfully, a majority of magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard to prevent magnets from being swallowed. However, many building and scientific sets include magnets. These can be incredibly dangerous. Use caution with any toys containing magnets. And, small magnets should definitely be kept away from small children, even if the product is marketed for children.
Use caution when charging batteries
According to the CPSC, “Battery charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.”