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To keep kids as safe as possible, you may want to skip these gifts this holiday season.

The holiday season is a time for giving, but if you are buying gifts for children, it’s important to make sure gifts are age-appropriate and that they are safe. An estimated 242,000 people visit emergency rooms each year due to injuries sustained from a toy, according to data from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. The most common injuries affect the face, head and eyes, as well as internal injuries from choking or swallowing an object.

Each year, there are specific toys that are found to be safety hazards, but often it is not until a child is injured or killed that the story reaches the public’s eye. To err on the side of caution when gift-buying for children, consider these potentially dangerous holiday gifts for kids:

  1. Unpowered scooters: While you may be concerned about getting a ride-on toy with a motor, it turns out that unpowered scooters account for nearly one out of every three toy-related injuries that end up in a trip to the ER.
  2. Toys with small pieces: Toys containing very small pieces, such as marbles, balls, beads and Legos, can be a choking hazard for young children
  3. Toys with sharp edges: If a toy has any sharp edges, it can cause cuts, bruises and eye injuries. Be especially careful with any item that may be thrown.
  4. Toys with long cords: Avoid toys with cords or strings longer than 12 inches because they can be a strangulation hazard for children, as well as pets.
  5. Toy with magnets: If a child swallows a magnet from a toy, it is dangerous. If two or more magnets are swallowed, they can stick together and cause extremely serious internal injuries.
  6. Toys with batteries: Make sure to choose toys with batteries that cannot be easily removed because batteries can be very dangerous if swallowed or if they leak.
  7. Toy guns: There are many reasons why guns are not ideal toys for children. They can cause injury if aimed at people or animals.
  8. Hoverboards: Although fun, hoverboards can cause serious injury due to falls. Children should always wear helmets and other protective gear when riding and should only ride on smooth, flat surfaces.
  9. Chemistry sets: These gifts can pose a safety hazard if they are not used properly. Chemistry sets should only be used under the supervision of an adult and safety goggles should be worn.
  10. Trampolines: Children should always be supervised by an adult and only one child should be on a trampoline at a time to reduce the risk of injury due to falls.

When choosing holiday gifts for children, it’s important to keep safety in mind. While looking at the labels on packaging can help you determine if a gift is intended for a child of a particular age, that may not be the only thing you have to consider. Also think about the age of other children in the house and whether the toy requires adult supervision when used (and if the recipient of the gift will have that supervision when playing with it).


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Date Last Reviewed: October 19, 2023

Editorial Review: Andrea Cohen, Editorial Director, Baldwin Publishing, Inc. Contact Editor

Medical Review: Perry Pitkow, MD

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