By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
While shopping for that special child in your life this holiday season, don’t overlook one important detail: SAFETY! Many times when we purchase gifts for kids, we’re hoping to for that “wow” factor. This year, gift giving can still have that same excitement, but can come with the addition of a safety message.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), there were 256,700 toy-related injuries treated in U.S. hospital emergency rooms in 2013. Here are some tips to keep in mind when shopping for a toy:
- Make sure the item is age-appropriate, and examine the toy for small, loose parts that could be swallowed by young children.
- Check the toy for a non-toxic, durable finish and be sure it contains no unhealthy chemicals (phthalates, lead, etc.).
- Carefully look for points, edges, and breakable parts that could be sharp and injure a child.
- Be cautious with items that contain a button battery. If young children locate these and swallow them, they can suffer chemical burns in as little as two hours.
Go Play Outside!
You can avoid electronics and consider scooters, bicycles, skateboards, roller skates/roller blades, and all-terrain vehicle (ATVs) for older youth—these are often favorite gifts and reinforce a healthy, active lifestyle. In addition to assuring the gift is both sturdy and stable, follow up with proper safety equipment, like knee pads, elbow pads and helmets. Helmets should fit correctly and the child must wear them each and every time. Trampolines often make popular gifts, too, but make sure to complete your purchase with a safety net.
Practical Gifts Never Fail
When giving a gift to a family, consider practicality. Sometimes, families neglect to purchase items such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers due to the expense or failure to realize their importance. For new parents, there are great gifts out there to help baby-proof the home.
Contributing to the Cause
The holidays are well-known as a time for charitable giving, and there are many worthy organizations that do great things for kids with funding from generous contributors. Donating to the Progressive Agriculture Foundation helps fund our Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program. These events teach children about potential hazards around the home, ranch or farm and encourage them to adopt new safety practices. In 2015, more than 100,000 children and adults participated in a Progressive Agriculture Foundation sponsored Safety Day. It only takes $12 to help a child attend one of our events. For more information about the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® program, visit www.progressiveag.org.
Photo: From All-terrain vehicles to bicycles, finding a helmet that fits correctly should be a top priority! At a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day® in Pennsylvania, participants are fitted for helmets they will take home with them, thanks to the support of local sponsors. Keep the gift of safety in mind this holiday season when selecting the perfect present for your loved ones.