Happy Holidays everyone! I absolutely love this time of the year. We’re gearing up to go see family, celebrating with friends, and getting last-minute preparations in place.
In fact, there are so many details to worry about, it can be easy to forget about some of the smaller details, such as the safety of your little people with new toys.
With family and Santa most likely set to spoil your children with lots of presents, it’s a good idea to keep a few things in mind. Unfortunately, many people choose toys on impulse without regard to appropriate age guidelines, sometimes resulting in items that your toddlers may not be ready for.
Be sure to open each new gift with your toddler, so you can review it appropriately and help with the packaging. Here are some things to watch out for when opening gifts this season:
- Loose (or removable) small parts: These are a choking hazard
- Gaps or errant holes: Your child’s fingers could get stuck
- Weak or loose stitching: These might result in accidents or injuries
- Poorly ventilated enclosed spaces: Carefully check tents or costumes
- Projectiles or sharp points: These could cause injury
Other precautions to note:
- Toy parts should be larger than 1 ¾ inches (the width of a toilet paper roll) to prevent choking among children under five years old.
- Any toys that require batteries should be closed tightly so children cannot get to them
- Ensure any paints, plastics or parts of a toy are non-toxic and non-flammable before using. Use washable paints, markers or crayons when possible.
- Consider using a helmet with any ride-on toys, and ensure they are age-appropriate.
- Dispose of any plastic bags or packaging immediately to avoid children playing with it later. Remove long cords or strings to prevent strangulation.
- Turn down the volume on any toys with noise in order to prevent hearing loss, especially with items like walkie-talkies, pretend cell phones, etc.
A final idea is to do a “sweep” right before or after presents are opened, in order to remove old, broken or extra toys to make room for the new. Many parents even put up boxes of older toys for awhile and then bring them back out to make them feel new again.
That’s about it for 2017! Have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and best wishes from our hugabugg family to yours!
- Crystal Wilson