(WFXG) - Tis the season for giving and while Santa is preparing to bring the hottest and trendiest toys to children for Christmas, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) wants to remind parents that safety should be a top priority this holiday.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, in 2016 there were more than 174,100 toy-related ER-treated injuries associated with toys to children younger than 15 years of age.
DHEC wants parents to choose holiday toys with care. Check out these toy safety tips to keep your children safe this holiday season.
10 Toy Safety Tips
1) Always pay close attention to the age recommendations on toys and choose one according to a child's age, interest, and skill level. Also, be aware of other safety labels such as "Flame retardant/flame resistant" or "Washable/Hygienic materials" on dolls and other stuffed toys.
2) Discard the plastic wrappings from toys immediately; they become deadly playthings to small children.
3) For children 1 and under, choose toys that are colorful, lightweight, have various textures and are made of non-toxic materials. Children, this age learn through sight, touch, sound and taste and often put things into their mouths to explore them.
4) Don't give young children any toys with small parts, such as removable eyes, noses, etc.; they are choking hazards.
5) Inspect all toys for sharp points or edges made from such materials as metal or glass. These toys should not be given to children under 8 years of age. This includes stuffed animals with wires that could stab, cut or shock if exposed.
6)Toys with strings, cords or ribbons of any kind should not be hung in cribs or playpens. Young children can become entangled, which can cause injury or death.
7) Teach older children to keep their toys that might have removable small parts, sharp points or toys run on electricity out of reach of younger siblings. Young children are very curious and may investigate toys that aren't appropriate for them.
8) Keep toys and play equipment in good condition, assure protective gear fits appropriately and discard any toys that are broken to prevent injuries.
9) Supervision is essential; provide safe hazard-free play environments both indoors and outdoors. Toys get used and abused by children; regularly conduct a toy maintenance check for safety and durability.
10) Teach children early to put toys away when they are finished playing with them. This will prevent accidental falls.
For more information on toy safety, you can visit http://www.scdhec.gov/Health/ChildTeenHealth/EarlyChildhood/PreventInjuries/.