Don’t let going to the Emergency department for a toy-related injury become part of your holiday tradition. Buy safe toys and shop safely for the kids on your gift-giving list.

Lynn Lawrence, MD, Emergency doctor at Cardon Children’s Medical Center, routinely sees more kids coming in after the holidays having injured themselves on the season’s newest toys. In metro Phoenix, Banner Health offers pediatric emergency care at Cardon Children’s Medical Center and Banner Thunderbird Medical Center.

“In the Emergency department we often see issues with toys, especially when children are not given age-appropriate gifts,’’ she said.

The numbers back her up.

The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) issued a report in October 2019, titled “Toy-Related Deaths and Injuries”, indicating that more than 226,000 U.S. hospital emergency room visits were linked to children’s toys last year, with at least 17 toy-related deaths in 2018.

Boys usually account for more than half of the injuries.

Lawrence offers these general guidelines for shoppers interested in buying safe toys and making safe-toy purchases this holiday season:

• Check the parts: Toys can contain smaller parts or even parts that can become hot because of heating elements.

• Check for quality: Avoid sharp corners, rough edges. Choose well-made items that will not break easily.

• Most important recommendation: Look on the box in which the toy came for the age recommendations and follow those suggestions. Give age-appropriate gifts.