Give the Gift of Toy Safety This Holiday Season
Silver Cross Hospital offers tips to avoid injury during a time of celebration.
The biggest threat to the health of children older than a year old is not a dreaded disease, it's accidental injury.
According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year nearly 230,000 children suffer injuries from toys severe enough to be treated in a hospital emergency room. Nearly 40 percent of those injured are younger than 5 years old.
“The last thing any child or parent wants is to end up in the emergency room hurt and unable to celebrate the holidays,” says Daniel Checco, D.O., Emergency Medicine physician at the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd Street and Bell Road in Homer Glen.
The challenge for parents is to find toys that children will enjoy and that are known to be safe.
These simple guidelines can help keep the holiday season safe for your youngsters:
- Avoid toys that shoot or have parts that fly off.
- Choose toys made of durable materials with no sharp edges or points.
- Don't give young children toys with small parts. Youngsters tend to put things in their mouths, increasing the risk of choking.
- Choose age-appropriate toys. Age labeling is provided for developmental and safety reasons.
- Select toys to suit a child's abilities, skill, and interest level.
- To avoid serious ear injury, don't buy toys that make loud or shrill noise.
- Choose well-made stuffed animals. The eyes, noses, and other small parts should be fastened securely.
- Never buy hobby kits, such as chemistry sets, for children younger than age 12.
- Look for the letters "ASTM," which indicate a toy or product meets the national safety standards set by the American Society for Testing and Materials.
“Parents just need to practice a common sense approach when purchasing age-appropriate toys for their children,” Dr. Checco said. “By simply explaining and demonstrating how to use the toys and keeping toys for older children away from younger ones, many accidents can be avoided.”
About the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center
The Free-Standing Emergency Care Center is located at 143rd Street and Bell Road in Homer Glen and is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Center is staffed with Silver Cross Hospital’s board-certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses. Patients can check ER wait times — if any — at www.silvercross.org for both the Homer Glen Free-Standing Emergency Care Center as well as Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.
Located in the same building is the Silver Cross Health Center, which offers MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound EKG and laboratory services. A physician’s order is required. To schedule an appointment for a test, call (815) 740-7076. And there are several physician offices, including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine surgeon, urologists, cardiologists, and family practice physicians. For a referral to a physician at the Homer Glen medical center, call 1-888-660-HEAL or visit www.silvercross.org.