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Keep your children safe: Tips for choosing safe toys and gifts

When choosing a gift for your child, keep in mind that not all toys are meant for all children. In the U.S. alone last year there were over 250,000 toy-related injuries requiring emergency room visits. Almost half of those were injuries to the head and face and more than 30 percent of total injuries happened to children under the age of five.

While basketballs, baseballs, and air guns were the top causes of toy-related eye injuries, almost all toys come with a risk, especially if the product is defective in some way. Injuries caused by defective toys can have catastrophic consequences requiring extensive medical care and rehabilitation, expenses for which the manufacturer can be held liable.

Included below are tips for purchasing safe toys and gift for your children this year.

Projectiles

Avoid toys that shoot or have other parts that fly off or easily detach. Stay away from the BB guns, paintball guns, and even air guns that shoot foam missiles. Pretty much anything that flies through the air is dangerous for young children.

Age matters

Be sure you are buying a toy that is age appropriate and within your child's ability. Also take into consideration other children you have that may have access to the toy. If it is appropriate for your 8-year-old, but dangerous for your toddler, it may be best to choose a different gift.

Also, be sure to review the product recommendation concerning age on each toy's packaging. These numbers were not chosen by random, but are the result of testing and consumer product guidelines.

Stay off point

Avoid toys that have sharp edges, points, or can break into shards. If your child can impale himself, his little sister, or the dog, it's not a toy you want in the house.

Some parts are too small

Toys with small parts that can be swallowed are definitely not good for young children, especially those prone to wondering how everything and anything tastes. Avoid the building kit and stick with the plush toy for this one.

In general, if the toy can fit inside a toilet paper roll, it is not a good option for a child three years or younger.

Check for recalls

Before you give a new toy to your child, check to see if the item has been recalled. If a product has been declared defective, it is safe to assume it is not safe for your children to play with it.

Defective products can cause very serious injuries and sometime even death. If you or a loved one has suffered an injury due to a defective product, it is important that you understand your rights in Massachuse tts.

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