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By: Jana L. Davidson, Education Content Specialist for the Progressive Agriculture Foundation
Now that Black Friday has come and gone, the holiday shopping season is well underway. As we countdown the days until holiday parties and time spent with family and friends, the little ones in our life are anxiously awaiting their chance to open up the freshly wrapped packages. Whether big or small, toys are always a favorite among many children; however, placing extra thought into toy safety should always be a priority during purchase.
On the positive side of shopping safely this holiday season, toys in the stores are much safer today according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. In 2016, there were only 24 recalls and only one involved lead compared to 2008 when there were 172 recalls with 19 involving lead. Although toy recalls are on the decline, there are still hazardous items you will want to avoid when selecting the perfect gift for small children such as magnets, button batteries, balloons, or toys with small parts.
In addition to keeping safety in mind when selecting the perfect toy, continue the safety message with children by following these five safety tips:
- Remind children to put their toys away to avoid trips and falls. Toys can pose a danger to anyone when left on stairs, doorways and other high traffic areas around the home. Be sure to fix or discard broken toys to avoid accidental injury from damaged parts or sharp edges.
- Always read the directions that come with a toy together as a family, so everyone is on the same page and knows the necessary precautions. Even age-appropriate toys, such as sewing, baking or science kits, often require adult supervision.
- Teach older youth to role model safe toy behavior by always keeping tiny toys out of reach for younger children.
- Be aware of your surroundings when playing with toys that fly. Assure you do not injure an unsuspecting person or destroy another person’s property while at play.
- Ensure bicycles, scooters and ride-on toys are sturdy & stable. Follow-up with proper safety equipment like knee pads, elbow pads and helmets. Be certain that helmets are fitted correctly and that the child wears them each and every time they ride.
This safety message was brought to you by the Progressive Agriculture Foundation. Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® teach children in rural communities about potential hazards around the home, ranch or farm and help them adopt new, safe practices. For more information on safety or for details about hosting, donating or volunteering at a Progressive Agriculture Safety Day®, visit www.progressiveag.org or call us toll-free at 888-257-3529. Be part of more than 400 Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® offered annually throughout North America.
Photo: At Progressive Agriculture Safety Days® like this event in Pennsylvania, various toys are used in a safe manner to demonstrate hidden hazards that can be found around the home, ranch or farm.