Naughty or Nice, Check Your Child's List Twice
Most children look forward to new toys during the holidays. Before you buy, check the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) first. Recent reports show that 251,700 children were injured and seven children were killed in 2017 due to unsafe toys.
In an effort to restore consumer confidence in the toy industry, the CPSC has enforced stronger federal rules regulating toy makers, especially those in other countries. Their website highlights top safety concerns and provides opportunities to report dangerous toys.
The CPSC has already made some important changes for safety. The U.S. has the lowest lead paint limit requirements in the world and has converted many voluntary standards to mandatory standards. The CPSC is also requiring more third-party testing for toys that target children under age 12.
The typical wish list today often includes some type of electronic device. Before you start the laborious task of price comparing and double checking that you have selected the right item to place in your shopping cart, there are a few factors you might want to consider first.
Excessive exposure to tech is said to put kids at risk for developing conditions such as poor short-term memory, signs of inattention or impulsivity, behavioral or learning difficulties, obesity, issues with fine motor skills and more. Even more unexpected is a condition called “postural kyphosis”, or a hunched back from leaning over an electronic device too often. There are also concerns over how tech affects sleep when devices are kept in the bedroom. Not getting enough sleep deprives the brain of its essential needs and causes us to struggle with every day activities, which is particularly dangerous for children.
Additionally, parents should be aware of the affect tech reliance has on their child’s relationship building and social skills. Children learn actions from their parents and peers, so when adults are frequently checking their phones for notifications, it sends a message to children about acceptable communication behavior.
Keep these reminders and precautions in mind when making your holiday shopping list and review the entire CPSC report referenced above for additional information. Remember to dispose of any plastic wrapping or packaging once the kids have finished opening presents and if you come across a dangerous product this holiday, report it online or call the CPSC's hotline at 1-800-638-2772.