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When buying gifts people do not like to think of possible accidents that can arise from improper use, but we should, particularly for minors. This season, there are some things to consider while selecting toys and gifts for children:


Ride-on toys will be all the rage now: tricycles, bikes, mopeds, skates. Please ensure that there is adequate space to ride them. Teach the children not to ride into the streets. Head injuries are a real threat so always buy them helmets. Shin and knee guards are also welcome.

Choking hazards

Please be very selective with gifts for children under 3 years of age as they are at a higher risk of choking. If you must buy bedding, avoid loose and soft beddings for cribs and children’s beds.

Ensure that battery covers are screwed on and that those tiny button batteries and magnets are not able to fall out. If they do, please throw them away. The Christmas would still be fine without blinking lights and scratchy musical sounds. Items that use button batteries include remote controls, wristwatches, musical greeting cards, Christmas hats that glow and sing.

Other choking hazards are balloons, eyes or stuffing from plush toys, buttons and beads from doll baby dresses, marbles, foam balls. Please dispose of all packaging properly once the toys are unboxed. Do not leave nylon bags lying around when you have children under 3 years in the vicinity.

Electric shock

Christmas lights, toys that need to be charged, and some that have strong batteries all should be monitored carefully. They should be plugged in properly and charged by an adult and children should not take electrical or battery-operated toys into the bathroom.

Eye Injuries

This season, be careful with firecrackers (bangers) and fireworks, they shoot out and can hit the eyes if not handled properly. Avoid toys that shoot projectiles and toys with particularly pointy ends. While Bisco is safe when a child stands in one place and is supervised closely (because of the sparks), it becomes more dangerous when they run around and wave it about. Check the claws of animal toys and the force at which toy guns shoot their pellets or arrows.

If a new toy gets broken before it is unwrapped or afterwards, do not keep it with the children just because it is new. Please dispose of it to avoid cuts and piercings from the broken parts. For outdoor play on the sand, water guns are ideal. Avoid chemistry sets for younger children and get protective eye goggles for those old enough for it.


  • Read the labels before purchase,
  • Buy age-appropriate toys,
  • Teach proper use of the toys before handing it to the child but still stay around to supervise play.

Buy safe and enjoy the holidays with your family this season. Remember that we are running free eye tests for children from ages 1-18 from December 16 to January 10, 2020. Visit our hospital from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm on any of these days (except the public holidays) and get your child’s eyes tested. Season’s greetings from us all at St Edmunds!