Few things are more enjoyable than watching childrens’ faces light up when they open a new toy. And while we all love being the one responsible for giving that joy, none of us wants to be associated with the increased risk of eye injuries. According to the US Consumer Product Safety Commission, about 250,000 children are sent to the emergency room every year due to toy-related injuries; nearly half these injuries are to their heads, and very often to their eyes. Fortunately, these accidents can be easily prevented. All it takes is a little research and conversation to make the right choice and arrive with that safe, but fun, gift.
Most toy-related injuries happen when a child is playing with a product that isn’t age appropriate or well manufactured. However, keep in mind that the recommended age range on a toy’s label is fairly arbitrary—only a child’s caregiver really knows if he or she is ready to play with it. The bottom line is: think carefully about the individual child you’re buying for first, and learn a little about each item before making a decision.
Here are 6 tips to guide you toward safe—and delightful—toy purchases this year:
Most importantly, don’t stress! There are plenty of wonderful, high quality toys for you to choose from. And as you watch that special little one eagerly unwrap your thoughtful gift, you can relax knowing that you’re contributing to their development of visual skills, hand-eye coordination, pattern recognition and—best of all—tons of new memories.