Blog

December 18, 2020

Holiday Gift Giving

By Sophia L. Thomas, DNP, FNP-BC, PPCNP-BC, FNAP, FAANP

The holidays are upon us, and we all know what that means: time to get shopping. There are nearly 3 billion toys sold annually in the United States. Giving children the right gifts can spur imagination and development. Getting the wrong gifts can sometimes do more harm than good. 

According to Stanford Children’s Health, toy-related injuries send tens of thousands of younger children to the hospital every year. Most frequently, the cause can be traced back to giving young children toys meant for older kids. 

With so many toy and gift options available, it is important for gift givers to ensure they select age-appropriate and safe options for younger children. Here are some basic guidelines to consider when selecting the right present.

  • Read instructions and warnings on the packaging. Often, these will inform the buyer of the appropriate age group for that toy. 
  • Avoid toys with sharp edges or rigid points. 
  • Avoid balls, marbles or other objects that are 1.75 inches wide or less for children under the age of three. 
  • If you purchase a gift with wheels — like a scooter, bike or skateboard — ensure you purchase an accompanying safety helmet. 
  • If purchasing crayons or other art supplies, be sure to look for the “ASTM D-4236” designation, which means the item has been inspected by a toxicologist. 
  • Avoid toys with small parts that can present a choking hazard. 

Gifting a toy to a child is one of the most rewarding experiences, topped only by seeing them enjoy that gift for years to come. This holiday season, let’s ensure that safety is the top priority.