MISSOULA, Mont. – Every child looks forward to unpacking their favorite toys on Christmas Day, and while toys are intended to provide entertainment, they can also pose a danger.
dr. Lauren McGovern, a pediatrician for the community’s primary care pediatrics, said she has seen a number of toy-related injuries in her career.
So before you put presents under the tree, there are a few things to keep in mind if you have small children.
This includes toys with small pieces that could pose a choking hazard or toys with strings over 12 inches (30 cm) long that your child could accidentally wrap around their neck.
She also said it’s good to look at the age on the box before letting your child play with the toy.
“For example, we have a set of magnets here. This one is for six years and longer, so you can be sure you’re going to [it] and then use common sense to say, ‘Is this toy my kid can handle?'” McGovern said.
A report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission states that nearly 80,000 toy-related injuries were reported in 2020, just among children four years and under.
McGovern said, sometimes the injuries can happen when your child gets toys from other family members or friends.
“I encourage parents to look at the gifts they get from other families because some parents don’t recognize that toys may not be age-appropriate yet,” she said.
She also suggested just playing with the toys with your child.
“The most important thing is that you sit down to interact with them and play at their level with things that they can enjoy at an age,” she said.