Safe toys for the holidays.

The holiday season is always fun, frantic, and a little chaotic for families.

Every year, nearly 200,000 children under the age of 15 years are seen in emergency departments for toy-related injuries; more than 500 every day (Safe Kids Worldwide).

Here are a few tips to keep in mind when shopping for toys:

  • Choose toys based on the child’s age and developmental level and check for small parts or other choking hazards.
  • Be sure to include a helmet with any riding toy. (Bicycle, scooter, skateboard, sled, skis, etc.)
  • Make sure toys are stored safely after play to prevent fall injuries and that bins or containers do not have hinges that can cause injuries. It’s safest to choose a bin without a lid.
  • Be cautious with any toy containing button batteries or magnets. They are dangerous if swallowed and require immediate medical attention; if it makes noise or lights up there’s a button battery inside.
  • Avoid toys with strings, loops of material or ribbons which can become a strangulation hazard for small children.
  • Sign up for recall alerts at www.safekids.org or visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission list of recalled toys at www.recalls.gov.

Have a wonderful and safe holiday season. If you have specific questions or need to have your child fitted for a bike helmet, please contact the injury prevention department at 412-692-8229.

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A $21 billion health care provider and insurer, Pittsburgh-based UPMC is inventing new models of patient-centered, cost-effective, accountable care. The largest nongovernmental employer in Pennsylvania, UPMC integrates more than 90,000 employees, 40 hospitals, 700 doctors’ offices and outpatient sites, and a 3.8 million-member Insurance Services Division, the largest medical insurer in western Pennsylvania. In the most recent fiscal year, UPMC contributed $1.4 billion in benefits to its communities, including more care to the region’s most vulnerable citizens than any other health care institution, and paid more than $500 million in federal, state, and local taxes. Working in close collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences, UPMC shares its clinical, managerial, and technological skills worldwide through its innovation and commercialization arm, UPMC Enterprises, and through UPMC International. U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks UPMC Presbyterian Shadyside on its annual Honor Roll of America’s Best Hospitals and ranks UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh on its Honor Roll of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. For more information, go to UPMC.com.