Who doesn't love giving a plush stuffed animal to a young child? Kids' faces light up when they hug these critters. And with the holiday season on its way, these toys are probably on your list as a gift giving idea.
But as adults, we need to be mindful of safety issues involving stuffed animals, which can pose choking, laceration, suffocation and allergy hazards.
Here's a checklist of stuffed animal safety issues to watch out for, courtesy of "What To Expect.com":
- Steer clear of features made of buttons, beads, or other small objects that could fall (or be chewed) off and end up in a baby's mouth.
- Check ears, paws, tails to ensure the toy is wire-free. Wires that poke through can injure a young child.
- Avoid any toy that is stringy (longer than six inches)
- Check to make sure no stuffing is falling out
- Stuffed toys collect dust mites, which can seriously aggravate allergies and asthma. To minimize mites, launder and dry the toy, then put it in a plastic bag in the freezer overnight.
- Don't give stuffed animals to young babies in cribs – they pose a suffocation hazard.