Shopping for the kids this holiday season? Keep these tips in mind | Jobs Reply

The University of Kentucky Public Relations and Strategic Communications Office offers a weekly health column available for use and reprint by the media. This week’s column is written by UK HealthCare nurse Sherri Hannan, Safe Kids Fayette County coordinator.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Dec. 12, 2022) – About 50% of all toy purchases occur between the Friday after Thanksgiving and Christmas. While parents are busy stocking up on the hottest toys, it’s important to remember safety when shopping for gifts.

Each year, tens of thousands of children are treated in emergency rooms for toy-related injuries; more than one-third were children under 5 years of age. As we enter the busiest toy shopping season, think fun and safety by making sure toys are age and developmental level appropriate.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when shopping for gifts. This is especially important for aunts, uncles, grandparents and other families and friends who do not shop for children regularly and may not know what is safe and suitable for children.

  • Consider the child’s age when purchasing a toy or game. It’s worth taking a second to read the instructions and warning labels to make sure it’s right for your child.
  • Be aware of game pieces or button batteries that could be dangerous for small children. While these types of games are great for older kids, they can be dangerous for your younger, curious siblings.
  • Don’t forget the helmet. If you’re gifting a bike, skateboard or scooter this holiday season, be sure to wear a helmet to keep them safe while they have fun.
  • Keep coin operated lithium battery devices out of sight and reach of children. These include remote controls, other children’s toys, keychains, watches, hearing aids, and glittery holiday jewelry or ornaments. For any toys that use batteries, make sure the battery covers are tightly closed.
  • Stay informed about dangerous products on the market. Check the product recall.

For the cost-conscious gift giver, repurposing or handing down old toys to a new generation can be a great way to save money during the holidays. However, some older toys may not meet current safety standards, or may be worn over years of play to the point of breaking and/or becoming unsafe. Check for broken or loose parts. Avoid painted toys made before 1978 – they may contain lead paint.

Even if your child seems mature for their age, you should still only buy age-appropriate toys instead of buying a toy that is too advanced for your child to “grow into.”

By keeping these tips in mind, you can help children have a fun and safe holiday season.

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