Natividad’s Top Safety Tips

  • December 9, 2021

Do the kids in your life have toys on their wish list? Here are some things that Dr. Christopher Carpenter, Natividad director of pediatric services, says to consider before you buy:

Is it age appropriate?

Most toys will have an age rating on the packaging that will clearly define what ages the toy is appropriate for. Toys may appear to work for kids of all ages, but the age or age range will further help make sure your kids are playing with toys that are safe for them at their ages. The on-package age recommendation can offer guidelines on:

  • Toy safety (if there are possible choking hazards, if there are small pieces not appropriate for young children, etc.)
  • The ability of a child to understand how to use the toy or play with the toy
  • If the toy aligns with the child’s development level (toys that are too advanced could cause frustration and may pose safety hazards for younger children)

Have you checked for choking hazards?

Toys that have magnets, batteries or small parts (think buttons or plastic noses or eyes) can be a choking hazard for children. If swallowed, these toy parts can cause serious health risks to a child including throat, stomach, or intestinal problems or choking. Be very cautious with any toys that have small batteries or magnets. Make sure your child only uses those toys under direct supervision of an adult and watch closely as they play with them. In addition, check between sofa cushions and under furniture regularly for items that are choking risks for children including marbles, small batteries, buttons, quarters and other coins.

Are there digital dangers involved?

Digital devices are top of teen’s lists but should always be gifted with safety and security in mind. Make sure you are defining use purposes of each device with each child individually and make sure they are clear with all of the rules of use. Smartphones, tablets, computers and game systems are each used in unique ways. Make sure you fully understand each piece of technology your child is using and are aware of and are properly explaining to your child the vulnerabilities associated with the device(s) your child is using. Set and enforce rules of use that are designed for protecting your child and make sure they understand each rule and why it is in their best interest.

Call your health care provider immediately if your child swallows any of the following items: magnets, batteries, coins, buttons, marbles or small toy parts. In the case of any toy-related emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.