Health Watch -- Holiday Prep: Choosing Toys

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.


This week on Health Watch, we’re offering some tips for a safe and healthy holiday season. When you’re choosing toys for your children, make sure they’re toys that are safe for your kids - both physically and emotionally.

Dr. Joel Steinberg, a pediatrician at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, says it’s best to avoid toys, video games or videos that encourage violent behavior. Violent video games don’t teach good coping skills for dealing with roadblocks. In the real world, you can’t just reboot when you come to a dead end or die. Toys should be age-appropriate for the child. A toy that’s too advanced may frustrate the child.

Look out for small pieces that could be choking hazards for young children — and remember that younger siblings may get into older siblings’ toys. If noise-making toys seem loud to you, they could be damaging to a child’s hearing (and probably your nerves).


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December 2006

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