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Avoid Dangerous Toys For Toddlers
Santa's elves make all kinds of toys at the North Pole. From lavish electronic devices to simple board games, those in St. Nick's employ are a versatile group. Unfortunately, however, not all toys are safe for all age groups. In fact, children under three or four years of age are particularly prone to choking on small objects (they put everything in their mouths!). For this reason, it's imperative that parents of tots in this age group closely monitor what Santa places in the stocking and under the tree on Christmas Eve.
When making a purchase for your little one this holiday season, keep a watchful eye by closely inspecting not just the labels, but the toys themselves. Does it appear rugged and able to withstand the rigors of rough play, or does it look as though it could break into small pieces? If so, move on to something else regardless of what the label says.
Labels are good guidelines, but they aren't foolproof. In fact, some believe that manufacturers intentionally over-label toys to insulate themselves from potential lawsuits. Still, it's better to be safe than sorry. While toys made for children three years of age and younger must, by law, be large enough that they do not present a choking hazard, it's best to closely inspect them yourself. Some sources suggest taking a 35-millimeter film canister with you. If the toy or parts of a toy will fit into that canister, they say, the gift is not a good choice as it presents a choking hazard. While it's not scientific and probably isn't a surefire measuring stick of what is and isn't too small for your child, it does give you a general idea when doing your holiday shopping.
Aside from choking hazards, be sure to avoid toys that are sharp. Most toys made for children three and younger have smooth, rounded edges. If a toy has sharp or jagged points, it may not be safe for your toddler.
Despite the fact that hospitals in the United States treat thousands of children each year for toy-related injuries, many people get caught up in the buying frenzy and sometimes forget that what's hot this year isn't necessarily what's safe for toddlers. For example, baby dolls with buttons or small accessories, like miniature bottles, present choking hazards. Toys that plug in to the wall could present a burning hazard. For that reason, if a toy utilizes light and sound it is best to make sure it is battery operated.
If you have a little one at home, here are some gifts that are good ideas for one- and two-year-olds:
* Cloth or plastic books
Remember that while Christmas needs to be fun, it also needs to be safe. Sure, you want to get your child the perfect gift. But no gift is perfect unless it is safe and age appropriate. Finally, keep in mind that children under three years old, regardless of how safe you deem the toy, need adult supervision when playing with the gifts Santa leaves under the Christmas tree!
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