As Black Friday and Cyber Monday get closer, parents are always eager to find the best gifts and deals, but caregivers should also keep safety in mind when shopping. A report from the Consumer Product Safety Commission showed that in 2022 there were 11 deaths and 145,500 toy-related emergency departed treated injuries to children younger than 15 years old. The following are tips to use when purchasing for the holiday season:

  • Check for Age-Appropriate Labels: Choose gifts that are age-appropriate for your child. Products typically come with recommended age ranges, and these guidelines indicate whether it is developmentally suitable and safe for your child.
  • Monitor Toys with Batteries: Keep them away from heat sources, such as fireplaces, or anywhere where there may be exposure to high temperature to avoid combustion of the batteries. Take out the batteries while the toy is not in use and store in a cool, dry location. Battery compartments should not be accessible for a young child to open. Serious injury, illness, disability, or death can occur if button or cell batteries are ingested.
  • Inspect for Small Parts: Small parts can pose a choking hazard for young children. When shopping for toys or other items, inspect them for any small parts that could be easily detached. If any part of a toy can fit through an empty toilet paper tube, it is too small for the child under three years.
  • Gift Mobility with Safety: If gifting a bicycle, scooter, or skateboard, purchase a properly-fitting helmet for the child as well. The CPSC also urges consumers to only use e-scooters, e-bikes, and hoverboards that have been designed, manufactured, and certified for compliance with safety standards. Be present when charging these products – never while sleeping – and only use the supplied charger.
  • Water Beads Are Not Toys: Water beads are small super-absorbent polymer crystals that can grow up to 1,500 times their size when placed in liquid. If ingested, inhaled, or inserted in ear canals, water beads absorb bodily fluids and can lead to potentially life-threatening injuries, such as intestinal or bowel obstruction, or lung or ear damage. According to CPSC data, between 2016 and 2022, there were an estimated 7,800 water bead injuries that were treated in hospital emergency departments. No amount of supervision can keep children safe from water beads. Learn more from our interviews with That Water Bead Lady.
  • Stay Informed About Recalls: Check all purchases against the CPSC Recalls page to make sure they haven’t been recalled. Follow KID on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok to stay up to date on all recalls.

For more tips, read U.S. PIRG’s recent toy safety report, Trouble in Toyland. KID wishes you a season filled with warmth, happiness, and the peace of mind that comes from shopping wisely. Happy shopping!