bike-helmet-elinAs the holiday and gift giving season approaches, it’s important for parents and caregivers to remember to choose toys with care to keep children safe. Keep in mind the child’s age, interests and skill level. Look for quality design and construction in all toys. Make sure that all directions or instructions are clear. And plastic wrappings on toys should be discarded at once before they become deadly playthings.

Here are some toy safety tips to keep in mind with some of the most common toy products and accessories:

  • Batteries: Adults should always supervise battery charging. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers. Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.
  • Magnets: Children’s magnetic toys are covered by a strong safety standard that prevents magnets from being swallowed. High-powered magnet sets that have small magnets are dangerous and should be kept away from children. Whether marketed for children or adults, building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.
  • Balloons: Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard torn balloons immediately.
  • Scooters and other riding toys: Riding toys, skateboards and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and they should be sized to fit.

Protecting children from unsafe toys is the responsibility of everyone. Careful toy selection and proper supervision of children is the best way to protect children from toy-related injuries. For more information you can visit the: Visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission to learn more about toy safety.