Advanced Search

Select safe toys to avoid holiday accidents; here’s how to keep your child safe

During this time of the year, children are excited about Christmas in anticipation of the toys they will receive from Santa, friends, and family, but if not properly selected, toys chosen could cause injury or even death. Chief Tim Keen of the Prince William County Fire and Rescue System says everyone should carefully select toys to reduce toy-related injuries and deaths. Here are his tips for safety when purchasing toys:

• Check the label: Choose age-appropriate toys by reading the age label on the toy.
Chief Keen said, “Children younger than 3 should not have access to toys with small parts, which can cause choking. Also avoid marbles and small balls for children under 3.”

• Get safety gear: With scooters and other riding toys, supervision is key along with proper safety gear that includes helmets.
Chief Keen said,  Helmets should always be worn properly and should be sized to fit. Avoid riding a scooter on a street or roadway with other motor vehicles.”

• Hoverboards: Although not considered a toy, hoverboards should be compliant with UL-2272 safety standard.

Chief Keen said, "Buy from a retailer that requires UL certification as standard. Hoverboards that don’t have this certification should be avoided."

• Be careful with magnets: High powered magnet sets are dangerous and should be kept away from children under 14.
Chief Keen said, “Building and play sets with small magnets should also be kept away from small children.”

Once Gifts Are Open follow these safety tips:
• IMMEDIATELY discard plastic wrappings from toys.
• Keep toys for older children away from younger children.
• Pay attention to instructions and warnings on battery chargers.
• Battery charging should be supervised by adults.
• Chargers and adapters can pose thermal burn hazards to young children.
• Some chargers lack any mechanism to prevent overcharging.
• Keep button batteries away from younger children.
• A child can swallow a button battery and suffer dangerous chemical burns in as little as two hours. DO NOT leave products with accessible button batteries within reach of children.

Checking It Twice urged as a further precaution:
Before discarding that gift list, make sure items purchased DO NOT appear on the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recalled toys or children’s products list Throu.ghout the year,  always check your home and toy boxes for previously recalled toys as well.

To receive recall e-mail notification, visit U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission or call the CPSC’s toll-free hotline (800) 638-CPSC (2772) (TTY 800-638-8270). To report an unsafe product, go to

The Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) 2020 report on ”Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries” says an estimated 198,000 toy-related emergency department-treated injuries and 9 toy-related deaths occurred among children 14 years of age and younger, said Prince William Fire & Rescue.

Non-motorized scooters were the cause of many of these injuries, and among children under the age of 4, building sets were associated with these toy-related injuries. Of the nine toy-related fatalities, the majority of deaths were airway obstructions.

The news release said the “CPSC has the most stringent toy safety standards in the world.” Its collaboration with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), that manages 300+ of the nation’s ports, regularly seizes shipments of toys that fail to meet federal safety standards and therefore, are prohibited entry into the U.S. These toys often contain lead and are in violation of the Consumer Product Safety Act.

In 2020, CBP Officers in New York/Newark, seized approximately $1.3 million in counterfeit toys, prior to the Christmas holiday, protecting American consumers against substandard and potentially unsafe counterfeit goods that could harm consumers and businesses.

The CBP said the manufacture and sale of counterfeit merchandise rob legitimate businesses of revenue, deprive American workers of jobs, and pose health and safety threats to U.S. consumers in which, the proceeds from these counterfeit sales often support other corrupt and illegal businesses.

As a part of its robust safety system, the CPSC provides strict enforcement and toy recalls informing consumers about the removal of faulty products from the distribution chain as a means of protecting children from unreasonable risks, serious injury or worse. December is Safe Toys & Gifts Month.

To follow PW Fire & Rescue on Facebook go to, Twitter or visit the website at

Link to This Article

Copy and paste the code below on your site to link to the article.

<a href="">Select safe toys to avoid holiday accidents; here’s how to keep your child safe</a>

Follow Us on Twitter!/bullrunnow
Welcome Guest! | Login