The idea behind a toy is to provide a child with entertainment, education, fun, or some combination of the three, but the actuality is that toys are often the cause of injury. Parents and caregivers must be as vigilant when selecting toys as they are when protecting children from more obvious hazards.
Children under the age of 3 are at greatest risk of toy injury, due, in part, to their propensity for placing small objects in their mouths. Toys and parts of toys should always be larger than a child’s mouth. According to the National Safe Kids Campaign, 54 percent of toy-related deaths in 2002 were due to choking, 43 percent of which involved balloons. Since latex balloons are primarily the culprit, Mylar balloons are recommended. Do not allow children to inflate latex balloons; if latex balloons are used, deflate and discard them after use. Toys that make loud or shrill noises should be avoided.
Be wary of cap guns, toy caps, or any toys bearing a label warning that it produces a loud noise. Make sure any electric toy that you purchase is “UL Approved,” indicating that the toy has undergone testing by the Underwriters Laboratories.
Toys in the crib are not recommended. The risk of suffocation is greater if there are toys present in the crib. Toys with strings or wires should never be used in or around the crib.
If there is any doubt regarding the safety of a toy, discard it immediately.
Guns In The Home
If you are a hunter or keep a gun for home protection, there is a very real danger that a firearm may pose a hazard to others, particularly small children who do not know how to handle guns. When storing a gun, your priority as a parent and homeowner should be the safety of your children and of any children or visitors in your home. When firearms are present in the home, family members should be instructed in gun safety.
Along with removing ammunition from all guns AND continuing to treat all firearms as if they were loaded, the following rules should be strictly administered:
– Guns in the home should always be locked in a cabinet.
– Never hide the cabinet key close to the guns where it can be easily discovered; avoid storing the gun-cabinet key with household keys.
– Equip each gun with a trigger lock as extra protection against unauthorized use.
– Store ammunition separately from firearms and under lock and key.
– Always handle a gun as if it were loaded; never point a firearm at anything you do not intend to shoot.
– Don’t teach children gun safety yourself. Find a state-approved firearm-safety program to train family members in safe gun-handling practices.
The right tools enable you to tackle household projects quickly and correctly, but they must be used and stored with care. Neither hand tools nor power tools should be left unattended or out in the open. Lock tools away in a toolbox or behind the locked doors of a shop. Teach children from a young age that tools are serious business and not intended as playthings. Nor should children be permitted to work with tools without adult supervision. Blades on saws and utility knives should be covered with plastic guards. Chisels usually come in wooden boxes and are best stored in them to protect the tools from rust.
Power tools should be kept behind locked doors with extension cords and power cords disconnected. Remove drill bits and blades from tools when not in use. Never remove safety features such as trigger locks or blade guards from power tools. As an extra safety precaution, add a separate control panel with a master switch in your workshop; that way you can turn off power to all shop outlets with one switch. Keep children and others out of the shop while you are operating power tools.
Movements and conversation by others can distract the tool operator.
According to the New York Times, more than 10,000 children 15 years and younger are injured every year by lawn-mowers. Children under the age of 12 should not be allowed to operate lawnmowers, and children under 14 should not run a riding lawnmower.