Give Safe Gifts This Holiday Season
Presents are a wonderful part of the holiday season but gifting dangerous or defective products could quickly ruin this festive time of year. Before you buy holiday gifts, especially toys for children, take a moment to assess their safety.
Tip #1: Always Check for Recalls
Before you purchase a gift, check the CPSC recall list. In 2017, the Commission issued 28 toy recalls, and last year (2019), Amazon and other online retailers were the centers of an expose about toys with dangerous levels of lead and other safety defects.
You should always check for recalls and read reviews before purchasing products, especially if you are not familiar with the brand. Cheaper does not mean better, and any deal that seems too good to be true probably has a dirty secret.
Tip #2: Buy Age-Appropriate Toys
Children under 3 should not use marbles, small balls, or toys with small parts because they represent a choking hazard. Manufacturers must label these products – even if there is a risk that smaller parts of a toy may fall off. Buying age-appropriate toys for older children is important, as well, as some materials may not be suitable for children at all. Consumer Reports and the National Safety Council recommend avoiding toys with button batteries or powerful magnets and keeping toys that must be plugged into an electrical outlet away from children under 10.
Remember that toys are age-rated for safety, not for children’s’ intellect and physical ability. Even if your child seems “mature” enough for a toy or game, it may not be safe for them to play with. Always read and adhere to the label on the toy before purchasing it as a holiday gift.
Tip #3: Don’t Forget Safety – and Include Safety Gear
Riding toys – particularly non-motorized scooters – are the category of toy associated with the most injuries and were responsible for almost half of toy-related deaths in 2016. If you purchase a riding toy for your child or a younger family member, make sure to keep safety in mind, always. Keep children away from streets with cars, and if you gift a riding toy, make sure you include safety gear, as well.
Children should always wear helmets when riding scooters or other toys and may need elbow and knee pads, too. Make sure these important items are wrapped under the tree any time you gift riding toys.
Choking hazards and unsafe lead levels are leading concerns for children’s toys, so keep these hazards in mind when purchasing holiday gifts. As we mentioned above, you should be cautious with high powered magnets and smaller magnets and batteries.
If a toy has a defect, like an incorrect label, the CPSC will recall it, so once again, you should always start your holiday shopping by making yourself aware of recalls.
Unfortunately, defective products sometimes slip through the cracks. If you or a loved one are injured after opening presents or harmed by a defective product at any other time of year, Clark, Fountain, La Vista, Prather & Littky-Rubin is here to help.