If you have young children or grandchildren on your gift-giving list this year, there are guidelines available to help make sure that you do it safely. December is National Safe Toys and Gifts Month, the guidelines put forth by the American Public Health Association can help.

Safe gift-giving for your youngest loved ones is crucial to think about over the holiday season. U.S hospital emergency rooms treated an estimated 262,300 toy-related injuries in 2011, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. And 92,000 were in children under the age of 5, according to the organization.

By following the below guidelines, adults can buy safer, more age-appropriate gifts for their youngest loved ones. National Safe Toys and Gifts Month is designed to help reduce the number of injuries during the holiday season.

Safety Tips During National Safe Toys and Gifts Month:

  • Parents can make recommendations to anyone who may shop for their child about what is and is not age-appropriate. That way they can limit gifts that may pose a risk.
  • Consider that small parts pose a choking risk, and may not be appropriate for young children.
  • Look to see if there are age guidelines printed on the toy’s packaging.
  • If the toy is made with flimsy, thin plastic, it may be breakable. If it does break, the pieces themselves can become choking hazards.
  • Long strings or straps can become choking hazards.
  • The caps in cap guns can ignite outside the gun, and cause burns.
  • Inspect boxes carefully before you purchase the toy, and go through the pieces with your child after the gift is given.

The natural urge is to make sure it’s a happy and fun holiday season, by providing our youngest loved ones with the gifts that they’ll love and cherish. This can still be done, with safety kept in mind at the same time.

For more information, visit the Prevent Blindness website, and have a safe and happy holiday season!