The most dangerous toys this holiday season

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:11 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:48 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Many of you may be planning to get your holiday shopping done soon, but how can you make sure the toys you’re buying are safe?

“We’ve never met a kid that doesn’t like a doctor’s kit,” Kristin King said.

King has one of the coolest jobs at Memorial Health.

“For our department, we’re really mostly focused on play,” she said.

As the manager of Child Life, she gets to pick out the toys that fill a playroom at the Children’s Hospital.

But with great fun comes great responsibility. King said picking safe toys is just as important as picking the coolest toys.

“When kids get something like this, it doesn’t seem that interesting, but it can turn into balls and they’re safe,” King said.

According to a new report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were more than 145,000 toy-related emergency room visits for children ages 12 and younger last year.

Eleven kids died.

But the agency says things are changing. According to their reports, there’s been a nearly 16 percent decrease in toy-related injuries since 2015 for this age group.

The CPSC says most of the deaths were from choking hazards, mostly because of small parts, balls, or balloons.

“It is definitely best to invest in quality toy that has a little more stability in it, and for multi-age households, you just have to remember like small pieces for board games and Legos make sure they have a place in the house and get put away,” King said.

According to the CPSC, nonmotorized scooters account for the most injuries for all age groups, with more than 35,000 ER visits. It’s a trend the agency says has been steady since 2018.

“Play is supposed to be fun, and it wants to be stress free,” King said.

But how do we do that?

The CPSC has a few safety tips you should think about before buying a toy this holiday season:

Choose age-appropriate toys that match the child’s interests and abilities.

Follow age guidance and other safety information on the toy’s packaging.

Keep small balls and toys with small parts away from children under 3 years old.

Get safety gear, including helmets, for scooters and other riding toys–and make sure that children use them all the time.

Once the gifts are open, immediately throw away plastic wrappings or other packaging. “I think that’s what makes a gift so fun, you see them, you recognize the things they’re interested in and then you’re inspiring play which is a big developmental component,” King said.

Before purchasing any toy, you should make sure the toy has not been banned or recalled.

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