With the holidays quickly approaching, and the biggest shopping day of the year this Friday, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission releases its “top tips for a safer holiday toy shopping and playing experience.”
1. Always choose age-appropriate toys for children. Keep toys appropriate for older children away from younger siblings.
2. Include safety gear whenever shopping for sports-related gifts or ride-on toys including bicycles, skates and scooters. Helmets and other safety gear should be worn properly and be sized to fit.
3. Be aware of your child’s surroundings during play. Young children should avoid playing with ride-on toys near streets and traffic, pools or ponds. They should avoid playing in indoor areas near hazards such as kitchens, bathrooms or rooms with corded window blinds.
4. Once gifts are opened, immediately discard plastic wrappings or other packaging from toys.
5. Battery-charging should be supervised by adults. Chargers and adapters can pose a thermal burn hazard to young children.
6. For children younger than 3, avoid toys with small parts and small balls. For Children younger than 6, avoid toys with small magnets. Keep all young children away from broken balloons. Keep deflated balloons away from children 8 and younger. Balloons are a choking hazard.
My mom, “Gwennie,” comes into town about twice a year from Connecticut. While here, she usually packs in a few trips to the local country western outfitters, a visit to a BBQ joint and, of course, enjoys some Mexican food.
For putting up with the craziness her trips usually entail, I’m entitled to some gift … usually of the purse variety, and of a brand I wouldn’t be able to afford for myself.
So there I am last week, searching for my perfect new bag. Alas, I find it but the store is down to two.
Can they hold it for me? Of course – but only until the end of the day … a full week before my mom’s arrival.
Can she charge it over the phone? Of course! So my mom ensures I have my dream bag and charges it over the phone for me. Here’s how that went …
Saleslady: “Ma’am, would you like us to send the bag home with your daughter or would you like it held in customer service until your arrival?”
Me: Super excited to take home my bag.
My mom: “Leave it customer service. She can wait.”
Me (to the saleslady): “Is she serious?”
Saleslady (to my mom): “Ma,am, are you serious?”
My mom: “Yes. I’m absolutely serious. Please box it up and we’ll pick it up Friday.”
After the disbelieving salesgirl shared this with her fellow salesgirls and they all expressed their sympathy for me, I called my mom back and asked “how could you??”
The explanation is this:
My mom wanted us to go pick it up together. She knew how much I wanted it and she wanted to be there to see my excitement to pick it up. She didn’t want it to be “old hat” by the time she arrived a week later. Part of the fun in getting for me was seeing my reaction to having it in my possession.
Three years ago, I wouldn’ t have had an ounce of understanding about this, and thought it was just plain cruel. But being a mom, one of the greatest joys I have is seeing my boy happy. I treasure those moments – the ones of utter surprise, of excitement, of bliss. And I probably will still treasure them when he’s my age. I guess some things never change.
-Erica Smith, Copy Editor