Every year children are seen at emergency departments with injuries caused by toys they’ve just received as Christmas presents.
Here is the “A & 4S” test when choosing toy gifts for the children.
• Age-Appropriate. Check the labels and see if the toy is appropriate for the age of the child receiving it.
• Size. If the toy or parts of it is smaller than a ping pong ball, it is a choking hazard and not suitable for a child under three years of age.
• Surface. Toys should not have sharp points or rough edges that a child could be scratched by, or on which they could cut or pierce themselves.
• Strings. Check that strings or tails on toys are not too long and are firmly attached to avoid strangulation injuries.
• Safety. Always include the necessary safety gear, especially for ride-on toys (bicycles, skateboards and scooters). A great and economical gift planning idea is to have the grandparents or other family members buy the helmet for the ride-on toy you are purchasing.
And for second-hand toys, check that parts are complete and fillers won’t come off and pose a choking hazard. You can also check the Consumer Affair’s toy safety and product recall pages at www.consumeraffairs.govt.nz
For more information of child injury prevention and safety messages, visit www.safekids.org.nz.