July 15, 2024
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Chanukah and Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month

(Courtesy of HRH) As we enter the Chanukah holiday, we celebrate the Maccabees’ victory over the Syrian-Greeks and the miracle of one vial of oil lasting eight days, which we remember by lighting the menorah. To many of us, especially the little ones in our life, it’s a time for presents—toys, games, gelt! Is it a coincidence that December is also Safe Toys and Gifts Awareness Month?

Believe it or not, injuries stemming from toys are much more common than you’d believe. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, nearly 252,000 toy-related injuries were treated in emergency rooms in 2014. Almost half of these injuries affected the head or face. Further, one of 10 children’s eye injuries in the ER traces is caused by toys. The majority of these injuries occur to children under the age of 15.

Based on the most recent data and input from physicians, here is a selection of tools and tips that can help you understand safety both when toy shopping and when lighting the menorah.

Above everything else, when buying toys, you want to make sure toys are age-appropriate for your specific child while making sure toys you purchase don’t have warnings or recall notices. You should avoid purchasing toys with sharp, protruding or projectile parts. Following the chaotic opening of gifts, exercise proper parental supervision. Hazardous toys and games can easily cause eye injury.

In addition, when purchasing sports equipment, gift protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses as well. The exact type of eyewear can differ depending on what sport, so consult a specialist. Also, check labels for age recommendations and make sure they are appropriate for a child’s age and maturity.

Finally, keep toys that are made for older children away from younger children, and if your young one does experience an injury from a toy, consult a medical professional immediately.

Each year during Chanukah, we learn about the many home fires caused by the menorah. During a five-year period from 2012-2016, candles caused 2 percent of reported home fire deaths, 7 percent of home fire injuries, and 4 percent of the direct property damage in home fires. We should be aware of the following safety tips:

In case of a home fire, call 911 immediately, get out and stay out! Home fires account for 90 percent of all fire-related deaths. If, chas v’shalom, a fire starts in your home you may have as little as two minutes to escape.

Do some planning—check your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Have a home fire escape plan. Conduct a safety inspection.

Have a safe and Chag Urim Sameach.

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