The approaching holidays are truly a joyful season for our children and as parents we strive amidst the hustle and bustle to create yet another memorable holiday. First and foremost, however, the safety of our children should remain at the top of our holiday “to do” list.
While our children marvel at colorful lights, sing carols, help bake endless batches of cookies and look forward to visiting with the jolly ole man himself, it is the anticipation of waking up on December 25 to the surprises left by the infamous elf that delights them most. Then reluctantly, leaving their treasures behind, it is off to join family and friends as the celebration of the season continues. And this is when the problems could begin.
As parents we know which safe Christmas toys are appropriate for our child’s age and ability level but unsuspecting friends and relatives may not. An ill-chosen gift could possibly turn your holiday into a tumultuous nightmare as you race to the nearest emergency room.
As parents we can give thanks to ASTM International, formerly known as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM). Since 1971, ASTM has been protecting our children by ensuring that all toys entering the US marketplace meet standards set forth by the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act. These standards apply to all toys for children under the age of 14 with emphasis on labeling, functionality and appropriate age range.
Another respected organization, the American Association of Pediatrics provides these safety guidelines:
- Toys should suit the child’s age and ability level
- Check all instructions first
- No electrical toys for a child under 10
- No toys with small parts for a child under three
- Button battery toys are discouraged
- Balloons can cause choking hazards for a child under eight
- Remove strings and ribbons first
- Pull strings over 12 inches can pose a strangulation hazard
- Keep toys for each age level in a designated space
For parents the season is about creating magical moments for our children and keeping them safe is the greatest gift of all.
If after all safety precautions have been taken and your child still experiences injury from a defective toy, contact an Illinois personal injury attorney for a thorough consultation today.