Many Canadians are starting the much-anticipated Holiday shopping this time of year. The following information is adapted from various official documents from Canada and the U.S. and highllights some of the precautions people should take while choosing the toys for children this year. See Sources tab for original articles. Being informed shoppers helps consumers choose toys to keep children safe. Recommendations from Health Canada:• Always supervise children at play and teach them how to use toys safely. • Select toys suitable for the child's age group, and make sure to read and follow all instructions provided with the toy. • When preparing your toy shopping list, check the Government of Canada's recalls and safety alerts database for recalled toys. • When purchasing riding toys, like scooters, or skates, skis or a snowboard as a gift, give the appropriate safety gear, too. • Appropriate helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times, and they should be sized to fit. • Toys with small loose parts can be dangerous for children under three years of age or older children who are still putting things in their mouths. Keep them out of reach.
Recommendations from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission:To help keep what has been called the most wonderful time of the year happy and incident-free, CPSC is encouraging consumers to adopt a three-pronged safety approach. Which Toy for Which Child: Always choose age appropriate toys.
Gear Up for Safety: Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys, including bicycles, skates, and scooters.
Location, Location, Location: Be aware of your child's surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near automobile traffic, pools or ponds. They also should avoid playing in indoor areas associated with hazards such as kitchens and bathrooms and in rooms with corded window blinds.
Here are some additional safety steps that consumers can take while shopping this holiday season:Scooters and other Riding Toys: Riding toys, skateboards, and in-line skates go fast, and falls could be deadly. Helmets and safety gear should be worn properly at all times and be sized to fit. Arecent recall of a riding toy and numerous bicycle recalls emphasizes the importance of this advice. Small Balls and other Toys with Small Parts: For children younger than age three, avoid toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Balloons: Children can choke or suffocate on deflated or broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children younger than eight years old. Discard broken balloons at once. Magnets: For children under age six, avoid building or play sets with small magnets. If magnets or pieces with magnets are swallowed, serious injuries and/or death can occur.
Once the gifts are open:• Immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging on toys before they become dangerous play things. • Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings. • Charging batteries should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children. Pay attention to instructions and warnings