Because December is a gift-giving season for so many, and
because the season is particularly associated with toys for the kids, we want
to address safe toys and gifts.
December was first declared Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness
month by the organization Prevent Blindness America. The original intent seems
to have been awareness of toys that put the user in danger of putting their eye
out. But really it is about making sure the gifts you are giving are suitable
for the recipient’s age group and ability level.
There is a wide variety of factors to consider when buying
gifts to ensure that everything from receiving the gift to using it will be a
great experience for your loved one. So let’s just jump right into it.
- The best starting point when buying a gift would be to read the instructions and warnings on the box to know what you are getting into. Look for the ASTM label which ensures that the toy meets the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials. It’s the best way to be confident that the item has been put through the wringer to identify any possible hazards.
- While over the years, consumer advocacy groups
have made sure that toys are made with fewer sharp edges and points, and
without lead and other toxic materials, such products are still out there. Same
goes with toys with projectiles (toy guns and the like) or small parts that
could potentially be swallowed by a child. It is up to the consumer to be aware
of what they are buying.
- Historically, a great number of toy-related
injuries result from projectiles to the face and eyes particularly. Almost as
high on the list are suffocation incidents, mostly from deflated balloons.
Dispose of them immediately if they are popped or no longer usable.
- Durability and quality are key. Let’s face it.
Kids throw toys around – even the ones that are not meant to be thrown. Since
it’s inevitable, you might as well get the ones that are least likely to
shatter on impact.
- If you are giving sporting goods, you can
encourage safety right off the bat (pun absolutely intended) by including
safety equipment like padding, helmets, and eye goggles depending on what the
main gift is.
- Always be mindful of the gift recipient’s
special needs. How will a disability, for example, affect the way they use the
gift? How will the size or shape of the gift affect how they use it? Are there
any adaptions that need to be made to the gift beforehand? That level of care
can mean the most.
At Horihan Insurance, we wish you all that you
wish for yourselves this Holiday season, and we know you wish the same for
those you love. Especially for the little ones, for whom this is such a magical
time of year. By keeping these tips in mind, surely it will be the most
wonderful time of the year for them and will become some of the fondest
memories of their youth.