Unwrap the Gift of Toy Safety
Silver Cross Hospital Offers Tips To Celebrate The Holidays Safely
Joliet, IL (December 7, 2010)— The biggest threat to the health of children older than 1 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 five.
“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., Medical Director for the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd 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,” said Dr. Checco. “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.”
Other Tips to avoid playtime mishaps
- Discard packaging immediately. Sharp staples and plastic bags can cause injuries and pose safety hazards.
- Make sure children play in safe areas and, if appropriate, under supervision.
- Make a list of safety rules and share them with your children. If your youngsters are playing with friends, remind everyone of your safety rules.
- Inspect older toys for broken or sharp edges, loose parts, and loose strings or ribbons.
About the Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center
The Silver Cross Free-Standing Emergency Care Center is located at 143rd St. and Bell Rd in Homer Glen. The Center is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and staff by Silver Cross Hospital’s board certified emergency medicine physicians and nurses.
Patients can check 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 Joliet.
The Silver Cross Health Center also provides laboratory services and diagnostic imaging services including: MRI, CT, X-ray, Ultrasound and EKGs. And there are several physician offices including a pediatrician, podiatrist, spine and colorectal surgeons, rheumatologist and family practice physicians. For more information, call (708) 364-6337.
About Silver Cross Hospital
Silver Cross Hospital is a not-for-profit health care provider serving Will County and southwest suburban communities since 1895. Silver Cross has been recognized as a Thomson Reuters 100 Top Hospitals National Award winner for the last six consecutive years and as one of America’s Most Customer Friendly Hospitals by the American Alliance of Healthcare Providers. With over 2,500 employees, physicians and volunteers, Silver Cross operates a 304-bed acute care hospital and 10 satellite facilities providing outpatient services and physician offices. Construction has begun to build a state-of-the-art replacement hospital opening in 2012 in New Lenox. To learn more about Silver Cross Hospital or a referral to a physician on staff, visit www.silvercross.org or call 1-888-660-HEAL (4325).