Friday, 4 December 2009


As we are rapidly approaching Christmas it seems appropriate to look at the number and type of accident that children have with toys and more importantly what adults need to consider when buying toys.

Each year over 30,000 children attend hospital due to toy related accidents, examples of the type of problems are 5,000 injuries due to falls from items such as rocking horses, swings etc. Then there are 4,000 injuries due to problems relating to the small parts in some toys, injuries from toys that fire objects such as guns, catapults etc. total about 1,000. On top of this there are many injuries caused simply by leaving toys lying around especially near stairs, this can cause injuries to both children and adults.

So what does an adult need to consider when buying a toy

- well perhaps the most important rule is to chose the right toy for the age of the child.
- many toys have suggestions about the age of the child printed on the packaging to help potential buyers.
- as a general rule it is not wise to buy a toy which has small removeable parts for very young children,for example toys that include buttons or beads, which could easily be put in a childs mouth.
- be aware of toys with moveable parts as small fingers could be easily trapped.
- be aware of the coatings applied to the toy, paints and varnishes could be toxic and cause illness if a child chewed the toy.
- will the toy bear the childs weight.
- does the toy have a strap or cord that could be a strangulation hazard.
- if possible look for toys that have the lion mark on the packaging as it shows that they have been made to the highest standard.

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