Safe Holiday Gift Ideas for Children
Safe Holiday Gift Ideas for Children
The holidays are a joyous time for many, but nothing compares to the excitement kids experience when tearing into wrapped presents. Unfortunately, some of these holiday gifts can end up causing safety issues for our little ones. When shopping for toys, parents are typically more focused on choking hazards and less aware of potential eye hazards. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CSPS) reported that in 2017, emergency rooms treated 251,800 toy-related injuries, with 44% of injuries to the head, face, and eye area.
In order to raise awareness of this statistic and risk, December has been named Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month. Ensure the children in your life aren’t in any danger of eye-related injuries this holiday season by reviewing the tips and guidelines for safe holiday gift giving below.
Inspect Before You Buy
One of the most common ways children end up with eye injuries from toys is because they weren’t gifted something appropriate for their age. On most toys, you can usually find an age recommendation listed on the outside packaging. This recommendation is there for a reason; don’t ignore it! It’s especially important when buying toys for younger children, who may not understand that certain toy parts don’t belong anywhere near their eyes or mouths.
Other things to look for include the ATSM label that ensures the toy has passed a safety inspection, the recommended skill level, and also the developmental appropriateness. If all of these details match the child you are gifting for, you should be good to go.
You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out, Kid: Avoid These Toys
Remember that scene in A Christmas Story, where Ralphie finally gets the BB gun he was begging for and promptly shoots his eye? There’s an eye-safety moral to that story! Including BB guns, there are several toys you should leave off your shopping list this holiday season to avoid the risk of eye injuries:
- Anything that shoots. This includes anything from the popular toy company, Nerf.
- Any other toy weapons, like lightsabers, wands, swords, and bows. While many kids may want to look like their favorite movie heroes, it’s not worth it if they ended up poking their eye with those sharp ends.
- Sports equipment WITHOUT the proper safety requirements, like goggles.
- Fireworks, unless an adult is the sole handler.
- Laser pointers. If an eye is exposed to these powerful lights even for a fraction of time, it can cause permanent damage.
Still not sure if your toy is safe? Examine it for any loose parts, sharp ends, heating elements, cords, or anything that could potentially pose a threat. Your common sense will guide you.
So, What Should You Buy?
Younger Than One
At this age, it’s all about touch. Focus on toys that will help the parents and baby find comfort, such as soft blankets and stuffed animals. As well, toys to ease pain during the horrible teething time are a fantastic idea.
- Rattles safe for chewing on
- Balls too big to fit into the mouth
- Stuffed animals
- Stacking and nesting toys
- Books that speak and sing
Children at this age are starting to engage with the world more, so you’ll want to gift them something entertaining, safe, and educational. It’ll help make them bright, happy kids.
- Same as listed above for infants
- Puzzles featuring large pieces
- Musical toys
- Basic arts and crafts supplies, like finger paints and modeling clay (safe to consume of course)
- Wood blocks
- Toys with parts and things to pull
- Things to assist in their ability to walk, like toy cars to push or things to balance on.
Two Years Old
It’s time to get moving! Toddlers can be a hand full, so grab something that will safely keep them busy and spending all of their never-ending energy.
- Same as above for infants and one-year-olds
- Problem-solving toys, like wooden puzzles
- Lego Duplo, which is the kind of Legos that come in bigger shapes.
- Dress-up clothes
- Toy items like brooms, lawn mowers, computers, kitchen equipment, etc.
- Kiddie Pool
- Backyard gyms (make sure the parents can do constant supervision around these)
Three to Six-Year-Olds
Children are usually very opinionated around this age range! Try to strike a balance between what they want and what will be great for their development.
- More complex picture books
- Add to the crafting supplies by grabbing large crayons, markers, pens, clay, paper, and cloths.
- Musical instruments
- Bicycle or tricycle
- Board Games
- Roller Skates
- Basketball Set
Seven to 10-Year-Olds
Children these ages are fully exploring the world with their brains, strength, and personalities. Give them something they are passionate about while also ensuring their safety is top of mind.
- Chapter books
- Science kits (including safety goggles)
- Video games
- Music Players
- Sports equipment (again, including safety tools like helmets or padding)
Our last piece of advice? If you’re buying for someone else’s child, consult the parents. They’ll know what’s best for their little one. Or, if you don’t want to discuss and give away the secret, include a gift receipt in the packaging.
Happy holiday shopping everybody! If you have any more questions about eye safety and toys, learn more about our practice locations and book appointments online here.