Getting Joy of Holiday Toys Without the Dangers

Many of us are still buying presents, especially for kids.

But although many parents know toys can be dangerous, they don't realize many of the dangers are subtle.

Still, there are ways to get the benefits without the risks.

A new study from the Cleveland Clinic shows the biggest dangers for 5 to 17 year olds come from foot-powered toys: scooters, tricycles and wagons leading to 500,000 injuries in a recent decade.

The research also showed children under 5 are most in danger from choking on toys and toy parts.

Other dangers include:

  • Batteries; small batteries can cause severe injury by blocking, swallowing or breathing;
  • Magnets that can also be swallowed;
  • Anything that can explode like balloons;
  • Strings and cords and toys with sharp edges.

Take a few simple steps:

  • Make sure you read all labels carefully;
  • Choose age-appropriate toys — what's OK for a 9 year old is not for a 2 year old;
  • Assemble them yourself;
  • Cover batteries and magnets;
  • Adults should handle cords and strings;
  • Young children need supervision at all times with toys;
  • When toys are not being used, lock them up.

Follow these steps and have a happy and fun holiday.

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