Toy Safety for School Children

Each year, a number of toys are recalled due to injuries. To reduce the risk of toy injuries, use the following general guidelines for purchasing and using toys:

  • Allow your child to play only with age-appropriate toys and make sure he or she uses the toy only as intended.
  • Provide adequate supervision while your child is using any toy.
  • Inspect toys regularly for potential hazards such as sharp edges or loose pieces. Throw away all broken toys and pieces.
  • Use caution with the following items and inspect them carefully before purchase and use:
    • Craft supplies should be certified non-toxic and labeled ASTM D-4236.
    • Toy chests should have safety hinges and air vents.
    • Batteries should be secure and not easily removed.
    • Carefully inspect electrical toys for potential shock or burn hazards.
    • Toys with strong magnets can be very dangerous if swallowed.
  • Avoid noisy toys and shooting toys.
  • Encourage your child to pick toys up after play to prevent tripping.

For information about recalls for toys and other items for children, contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission (Toll-free Consumer Hotline: 800.638.2772 or TTY 800.638.8270).

Sledding Safety for School Children

  • Allow sledding only on open terrain free of trees, other obstacles, and ice. Avoid snow banks (tree stumps or rocks may be underneath).
  • Instruct children to wear a helmet (preferably a ski helmet, but any helmet is better than none) and provide warm clothing.
  • Provide supervision. Have a cell phone and emergency numbers with you.
  • Make sure your school-age child knows how to stop the sled safely. Teach him or her to roll off the sled if it is out of control.
  • Do not allow your school-age child to use equipment that is in poor condition.
  • Avoid saucers, inner tubes, and disk sleds, as they offer much less control.
  • Allow sledding in daylight hours only.

Trampoline Safety for School Children

An overwhelming majority of pediatricians discourage the use of backyard trampolines. In the United States, tens of thousands of children are injured on trampolines each year. Injuries vary from sprains to broken bones to serious head and neck injuries that can result in paralysis or even death. However, if your school-age child plays on a trampoline, the following tips may help prevent serious injury:

  • Do not allow children under the age of 6 on a trampoline.
  • Allow only one child on the trampoline at a time.
  • Always provide adequate adult supervision.
  • Instruct children to remove necklaces.
  • Do not allow somersaults or other high-risk movements.
  • Never allow jumping onto, or off of, a trampoline from another surface.
  • Set and enforce rules.
    • Review the rules of trampoline use frequently with your children.
    • Discuss the risks of improper use of a trampoline including the types of injuries and the frequency of occurrence.
  • Install the trampoline correctly in a safe location.
    • Do not install a trampoline near fences, trees, poles, and play structures.
    • Install the jumping surface at or near ground level if possible. (This involves placing the trampoline in a pit.)
    • Cover springs, hooks, and frame with shock-absorbing safety padding.
    • Install safety netting, but do not use this as a substitute for supervision.
    • Surround the trampoline with wood chips or other energy-absorbing surface.

Publication Review By: Stanley J. Swierzewski, III, M.D.

Published: 27 Aug 2008

Last Modified: 05 Oct 2015