Family Preservation

Catholic Charities has multiple programs that serve to strengthen families and cultivate parenting skills so parents can create a safe environment for their children. The Arizona Department of Child Safety refers parents to our Family Connections, Nurturing Parenting, Arizona Families F.I.R.S.T (Families in Recovery Succeeding Together) and SENSE (Substance Exposed Newborn Safe Environment) programs.

Monday, 05 December 2022

Choosing Safe Toys for Children During the Holidays

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Unfortunately, thousands of children are hurt or even killed each year due to an interaction with an unsafe or developmentally inappropriate toy. December is known as Safe Toys and Gifts Month in order to encourage a happy, healthy, and safe gift-giving experience for all involved.

December Is Safe Toys and Gifts Month

Choosing the right toy is hard enough. However, buying a child a toy that is safe should be a top priority. The most important thing to keep in mind is the age recommendation for the toy. For example, for younger children, it will help you avoid toys with small parts and those that pose choking hazards.

The Consumer Product Safety Commission offers these toy safety shopping tips for young children:

  • Children under three tend to put everything in their mouths. It is best to AVOID buying toys intended for older children, which may have small parts that pose a choking danger. Specifically, you should avoid toys with small parts that can fit inside a choke test cylinder or no-choke testing tube, which measures 1.25 inches wide by 2.25 inches long and simulates the size and shape of a young child's throat.
  • Never let children under eight years play with uninflated or broken balloons because of the choking danger.
  • Avoid marbles, balls, and games that have balls with a diameter of 1.75 inches or less. These products also pose a choking hazard to young children.
  • Avoid toys with small magnets, magnetic pieces, or loose magnets, as they can be swallowed. Unfortunately, if two magnets connect after they are swallowed, they can cause an intestinal blockage or more serious problems.
  • Children at this age pull, prod, and twist toys. Look for toys that are well-made with tightly secured eyes, noses, and other parts.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Before making any purchases for the people on your list this season and throughout the year, make sure to keep safety in mind. Inspect the toys before you buy them. Avoid toys with sharp edges or parts that can be easily pulled off. Make sure the age and skill level marked on the toy match the age and skill level of the child you’re buying for. And check toys for the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) label that proves they’re up to standard.

Supporting Parents in Central Arizona

Catholic Charities’ Family Preservation programs strengthen families and provide parents with safety tips to create a safe environment for their children. The Arizona Department of Child Safety (DCS) refers parents to the program that best fits their needs. If you’re interested in helping Central Arizona families thrive, it’s easy to purchase needed items from our Amazon Charity List and make an impact.

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Sabrina Walton

Sabrina Walton is the Program Manager of In- Home Services, including both Nurturing Parenting and Family Connection Programs. Sabrina Walton has an extensive background in social service and community work and joined the Catholic Charities team in 2019. Striving for community relations, and outreach she is involved with local faith-based entities, including churches and shelters. Sabrina has an educated background in childhood services, psychology, and behavioral health. She is a member on the ACEs consortium, and a certified Trauma Informed and PAC trainer. She loves serving others, in the continued motto of Grand Canyon University, where she received her bachelor’s in education and master’s in Psychology. 

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