Thursday, December 18, 2008
Medical Reports: Toy Trouble
Tis the season for toy shopping. But it's not all fun and games. Thousands of kids end up in emergency rooms every year from toy-related injuries. Seven's Diana Diaz shows you how to avoid Toy Trouble for a safe holiday season.
WSVN -- The holidays are here, and the toy stores are hopping with parents looking for that perfect plaything.
Dr. Deborah Mulligan, Pediatric ER, Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital: "In this country, over 2 billion toys are sold every year to children."
But as fun as this time of year can be, ER doctors at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital say it also can be a dangerous time.
Dr. Deborah Mulligan: "In the United States, we see about 150,000 holiday-related injuries for children under the age of 10."
From cuts to bruises to choking, that's why the experts say you should keep three things in mind when shopping for toys.
Dr. Deborah Mulligan: "Make sure that whatever you select as a gift for a child is age-appropriate, that the skill level is right for them and that they're interested in that item."
First, for children under the age of three, avoid toys with small parts that can become a choking hazard. The organization Safe Kids Broward recommends bringing a toy tester with you to the store. You can even use a cardboard tube from a roll of toilet paper. If the toy fits through the tube, it's not safe for a little one.
Also, check to make sure small parts are secure.
Dr. Deborah Mulligan: "The eyes on certain stuffed animals can be pulled off if they're glued on and be used as a choking hazard."
Next, be a good label reader. Check to see if the toy fits the age and skill level of the child and carefully read all the instructions.
Jennifer Belyeu, Safe Kids Broward: "Make sure that it's appropriate for the mental and physical development of your child."
Adult supervision is key, especially when it comes to battery-operated or electrical toys, and if you buy toys at a secondhand store or over the Internet, keep this in mind:
Kyril Monts, Safe Kids Broward: "It's not a bad idea to go on the U.S. Consumer Products Safety Commission website to make sure that they weren't recalled."
All good advice to make sure this holiday season is a safe and fun one for all ages.
Diana Diaz: "Parents, you can stay up to date on any toy recalls by having them automatically e-mailed to you."
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
Consumer Product Safety Commission