'It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year' - Protect Your Children with Safe Toys This Holiday Season

Dec 03, 2010, 06:00 ET from Pennsylvania Association for the Blind

MECHANICSBURG, Pa., Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The hustle and bustle of finding that perfect gift, crowded retail stores and backing cookies sometimes cloud the true celebration of the Holidays.  The Pennsylvania Association for the Blind doesn't want you to forget "It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year," and wants you to spend it safely with your family.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, injuries related to toys created close to 186,000 injuries that required emergency room treatment for those ages 15 and younger in 2009.  The majority of the injuries were to the head and face, including the eyes.

Keep your kids "jingle belling" by following these few tips;

TIP # 1 – Consider the Size of the Toy

For toddlers and all children who still mouth objects, avoid toys with small, or sharp parts.  These parts could be swallowed and could pose a fatal choking hazard.  As a test, if any part of the toy can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is considered a hazard and not appropriate for children under the age of 3.

TIP#2 – Consider the Shape of the Toy

Make sure a toy doesn't have any blunt edges that have points.  These toys could puncture the skin or eyes.  Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off.  BB Guns and air guns should not even be considered toys!

TIP#3 – Check the Label

Look for labels that give age recommendations and warnings.  Look for any toxic substances that may be painted on the toy and check instructions for clarity.

TIP#4 – Discard Plastic Wrapping and Strings

Immediately discard plastic wrapping on toys and avoid all toys with strings.  Plastic wrapping may have sharp edges and could cause suffocation, while strings can be very dangerous if the string gets wrapped around your child's neck.

TIP#5 – Protect Your Child with Gear

Gifts of sports equipment should always be accompanied by protective gear.  90% of all sports-related eye injuries could have been prevented simple by using appropriate eye protection.

Beaver Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Berks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Blair/Clearfield Co. Assn. f/t Blind & Disabled, Blind & Vision Rehabilitation Services of Pittsburgh, Bucks Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Butler Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Cambria Co. Assn. f/t Blind & Handicapped, Center f/t Blind & Visually Impaired, Central Susquehanna Sight Services, Center for Vision Loss, Chester Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Fayette Co. Assn. f/t Blind, ForSight Vision, Greater Wilkes-Barre Assn. f/t Blind, Hazleton Blind Assn., Indiana Co. Blind Assn., Keystone Blind Assn., Lackawanna Branch –PAB, Lawrence Co. Assn. f/t Blind, Montgomery Co. Assn. f/t Blind, North Central Sight Services, Nu Visions Center, South Central Blind Assn., Susquehanna Association f/t Blind & Vision Impaired, Tri-County Assn. f/t Blind, Venango Co. Assn. f/t Blind, The Sight Center of Northwest PA, Washington-Greene Assn. f/t Blind, Westmoreland Co. Blind Assn.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Association for the Blind