‘Convenience doesn’t equal safety’: How to avoid giving a dangerous gift


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – With a boom in online shopping due to COVID-19, pediatric doctors are reminding people to be mindful when gift-giving. Not being able to see items in person may increase the risk of giving a dangerous gift.

Hospitals typically see an increase in emergency room visits during the holiday season. In 2019, more than 224,000 toy-related emergency injuries were treated nationally, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. 

While shoppers are encouraged to buy online this year to help stop the spread of COVID-19, Purnima Unni, Pediatric Trauma Injury Prevention Program Manager at Monroe Carell Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, wants to remind everyone to be a vigilant consumer.

“Convenience doesn’t necessarily equal safety. You need to keep all those factors in mind before you jump to get a product,” said Unni.

For starters, shopping online means consumers can’t inspect their potential purchase. “When you go to the store, you can actually look at the product you want,” said Unni. “Does it have any parts that maybe the child can take out and put in their mouth?”

She urges shoppers to read age recommendations and the description listed with the product.

“We see a lot of cases where parents look at the toy and think this could be a fun toy, but when you’re at the store you have labels and warnings popping out.”

And take a moment to check the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recall list.

“Those second-hand sites, you have to be really careful about. We’ve noticed in car seats, people will buy them as a gift and if it’s not manufactured in the US, they’re missing parts. There’s no label, and there’s no proper instructions.” Shop smart this holiday season, so children only need to focus on having fun while playing with a safe toy.

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