December is the biggest gift-giving month of the year. Parents, aunts, uncles and grandparents are buying massive amounts of toys and gifts to ensure kids have a wonderful holiday season.
Unfortunately, December is also the month in which thousands of children are injured every year as a result of playing with unsafe or non age appropriate toys. In the United States, emergency rooms treated 251,800 toy-related injuries, according to the report issued last year from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC). 44 percent of the injuries were to the head and face area, the area of the body with the most injuries. An estimated 84,400 of all toy-related injuries, or 34 percent, happened to children younger than 5 years of age.
Prevent Blindness America declared December Safe Toys & Gifts Month in order to reduce the number of accidents and injuries suffered by children due to unsafe or inappropriate toys during the holidays. Take the time this month to re-cap on some basic safety advice and brush up on safety tips, buying appropriate toys and what to do should you discover a potential hazard.
It’s important to think about the safety of any gift you’re giving, especially if it’s a gift for a child. We’ve put together a list of toys and gifts that are not only safe in themselves but also promote water safety awareness which is the first step towards drowning prevention.
Josh The Baby Otter
“Josh the Baby Otter” was created to help children comprehend and remember this important message: TO STAY AWAY FROM WATER UNLESS ACCOMPANIED BY AN ADULT. It’s goal is to create a water safety behavior for all children that will be passed on from generation to generation.
Stewie The Duck Learns To Swim
Stewie the Duck Learns to Swim is an important and fun child’s first guide to water safety. Written for children ages two through six, the book conveys the message of how to be safe near the water through the story of Stewie, a duck who wants to swim with the “big ducks” but is prevented from going in the water by his older sisters until he learns the water safety rules.
The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim
The Polar Bear Who Couldn’t, Wouldn’t Swim follows the journey of a young polar bear named Zeke who is afraid of the water and refuses to swim. He leaves his home in search of other animals who do not swim, and ends up finding that he can enjoy the water if he follows the ABC and Ds of water safety, while learning a valuable lesson about facing his fears with a positive attitude.
USCG approved lifevests
Getting kids to wear life jackets can be a cumbersome task — bulky neon padded vests don’t exactly shout cool. But the risks of not wearing them are too great to ignore. The Center for Disease Control reports drowning to be the second leading cause of unintentional injury-related death amongst children ages 1-14 behind motor vehicle crashes. This can be a great gift that helps protect kids when in or near water.
Swim Water Shoes
Water shoes have a great many uses, and can do much more than flip-flops or sandals can. They will keep children’s feet protected from slips, sharp rocks, sunburns and much more making them a good choice as a holiday gift.
Layers Of Protection Also Make A Great Gift
Give the gift of safety during the holiday season by adding layers of protection to your list. With water safety being a top priority for many families, adding layers of protection to your loved one’s home can be one of the best gifts they receive. By taking extra precautions during pool season, you can ensure everyone’s safety and peace of mind.
The first layer you can consider is proper education and training. What better than swim lessons to make sure your kids know how to swim and are familiar with basic safety guidelines?
Swim lesson gift cards are a fantastic way to ensure your loved ones become better swimmers and understand the importance of water safety. Not only can you give them a present that will last for years, but you can also empower them with the knowledge needed to keep themselves safe in and around water.
Swim lessons provide instruction on proper technique, skill development, and pool rules that students need to know before they jump into any body of water. Additionally, swim lesson gift cards offer unique opportunities for kids and adults alike to learn survival techniques such as floating and treading water while providing peace of mind that they’re well-equipped with the skills required to stay safe.
It can be difficult to identify the right swim program for your family because it is such an important decision and there are so many things to consider. You can download our Swim Program Decision Chart and Swim Program Checklist to get started and be sure to consider all the necessary facts in order to make the best choice for you and your family.
A second layer could include installing alarms on doors, covers on pools when not in use and self latching locks on pool gates as well as installing a four-sided fence surrounding it. This will create an additional barrier between children and the pool or open water and help keep them safe.
The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission offer some great guides for selecting suitable toys for Kids Ages 0 – 5 and Kids Ages 6 – 12.