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Have Yourselves a Safe and Merry Christmas

By Jody Smith HERWriter
 
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be safe and have a merry Christmas
Andy Dean Photography/PhotoSpin

Toys for kids are integral to the holiday season for many families. Unfortunately, so are children's injuries and trips to the emergency room.

An article on the Reader's Digest website said that 8700 people in the United States visit the ER because of holiday-related accidents.

The American Academy of Pediatrics and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission would like to help you have an injury-free holiday season. With this in mind, they have provided some suggestions that may keep the family safe.

No matter how excited you or your child might be about a particular toy, do your homework before you buy. Read the instructions provided.

When you give a toy to your child, if they need to be showed how to use it correctly, make sure to do so. And check to make sure they do it safely.

If your child is 2 years old and the package says a toy is not recommended for children under 5 years of age, take it seriously. Small children can choke on tiny parts that don't pose a risk for older children.

Make sure you have removed all ribbons and strings before you hand a new toy to your small child. Pull toys with strings that are more than a foot long can pose a strangulation risk for small children.

It's not just small children who shouldn't have access to broken or uninflated balloons. You may be surprised to hear that up to the age of 8 years old, children could be at risk of suffocating or choking on them.

Kids younger than 10 years of age should only use battery-operated toys. Toys that plug into an outlet can leave children vulnerable to electrical shock and burns.

Howstuffworks.com said that more than 150,000 children get burned, cut, choked, punctured or shocked by their toys.

Mandatory federal standards and voluntary industry standards do exist but perhaps you were not aware that safety testing is not done across the board for all toys. As parents, we need to make sure the toys we give our children are safe.

Make sure parts won't come off easily and choke a child. Check to see that the toy is durable, and won't break when played with.

Examine the toy for sharp edges, or splinters.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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