Make Playtime a Safe Time - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

12/15/03

Make Playtime a Safe Time

The gifts are wrapped and under the tree but what's inside some of those packages could be deadly for your children. "Any toy can become a lethal weapon," Dr. Yogesh Pandya, a Pediatrician at Covenant Childrens' Hospital treats hundreds of toy-related injuries each year. "Most of the time, they are minor scratches, cuts and bruises, there are times when you can run into more serious injuries like strangulation, choking and drowning."

Most of these injuries can be prevented with simple safety solutions. Dr. Pandya says, "We tell parents that they need to look at toys they are buying. Look at labels for which age group is recommend." Read the label and make sure the child you're giving it to, is old enough to play with it.

"Don't use toys that are really small for example, less than one quarter of an inch for children less than three years of age because its a choking hazard," says Dr. Pandya. Beware of toys with strings that may strangle a child.

Toys with projectiles may also injure children. Any toys that produces loud noises can also be harmful. "Loud noises like firearms, even bb guns, close to the ears, can lead to permanent hearing damage."

Some toys may require adult supervision, so make sure you provide that if necessary. Next, teach your child how to play with the toy in question safely. "Often times, they play really rough with the toys and throw things around or toys are broken with sharp objects."

Now, here are some safety solutions to keep your child safe.

  • Buy toys that are age appropriate to avoid injury.
  • Stay away from toys with projectiles and loud noises.
  • Don't give young children toys with strings that may cause stagflation.
  • Supervise your children when they're playing to avoid injury.
  • Check old toys to make sure they haven't been recalled or need repair.

You can check recalls by ( clicking here ). For more toy safety tips, ( click here ). To report a hazardous toy, call the Consumer Product Safety Commission at 1-800-632-2772 or ( click here ).

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