Still working the kids' Christmas lists? Keep toy safety in mind

Posted at 6:20 AM, Dec 14, 2020

In the classic film 'A Christmas Story,' Ralphie is desperate to find a Red Ryder BB gun under the tree Christmas morning...but as even Santa tells him, "you'll shoot your eye out."

Toy safety concerns have been around a long time and for good reason.

According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were 162,000 toy-related injuries to put kids in the hospital last year with 14 deaths.

The number one culprit? Children choking on small toy parts.

The CPSC says it's important parents look for age-appropriate toys for their children because kids age 3 and under are known to put small toy parts in their mouths. Age guidelines are often found on the packaging.

Another big cause for injuries, the commission says, are riding toys like bikes, scooters and skateboards.

Nikki Fleming with the CPSC suggests parents buy a helmet and other safety gear like elbow and knee pads to go with a bike or similar toys.

And when looking online, don't fall for a price that's too good to be true.

"It may not have been tested to meet the quality that it should have. So on impact, for instance, a bicycle helmet is supposed to absorb some of the impact to protect your head. You’re not sure that these products have actually been tested to the mandatory requirements," said Fleming.

Safety gear should be bought new, Fleming says, but if you do buy a used toy, she suggests making sure it isn't recalled.

The CPSC has a list of recalled toys and more information on its website.