GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. — In a year of unprecedented challenging times, many things have changed. However, one thing that remains the same is toy safety.
According to the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, more than three-billion toys are sold in the United States each year, and many are bought for youngsters during the holiday season. So while tearing open the wrapping paper was one of the most exciting moments for kids this week, a toy-related injury would be the most devastating moment for parents.
According to the World Against Toys Causing Harm (W.A.T.C.H.), there are approximately 240,000 toy-related injuries each year, and numbers from the National Safe Kids Campaign show a child is brought to the emergency room every three minutes for a toy-related injury.
Thereby, opening Christmas presents may be over, but toy safety lasts way beyond the holiday season, and W.A.C.T.H. says there are many toys that parents may be unaware of, such as Nerf guns or slime, that can be a choking hazard.
A representative from W.A.C.T.H. says, “all you have to do is take a toilet paper roll. If the toy fits inside the roll, it’s not safe for a small child.”
Experts also advise that kids play with age-appropriate toys, and parents should not leave their children unattended while riding bikes, skating, or playing sports. Plus, USA Today found the COVID-19 pandemic prompted the Consumer Product Safety Commission to pull several port investigators, who normally inspect the toys entering the United States. In response, the legislative director for Consumer Federation of America says parents need to be extra vigilant this year at monitoring their children while they play with toys. In addition, safety does not stop with electronic holiday presents. Children are susceptible to scams and predators, so experts recommend establishing rules.