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Check children’s holiday toy list twice before purchasing gifts

November 17, 2022 

Eau Claire and Chippewa Falls, Wis.  –  When shopping for holiday gifts, HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals encourage you to prioritize safety over popularity. While it may be enticing to purchase the latest and greatest toy or gadget, it is important to check an item’s recommended age range and safety features.

“Toys have an age range for reason, whether it’s because of a potential choking hazard, a sound that’s too loud for developing ears or because it’s too advanced for a child’s stage of development,” says Tyler Bowe, trauma coordinator at HSHS Sacred Heart and St. Joseph’s hospitals. “For older children, it’s important they understand the correct way to play with a toy to avoid injury to themselves or others.”

HSHS hospitals recommend the following 10 toy safety tips:

  1. Read the label. Warning labels give important information about how to use a toy and what ages are appropriate for use. The recommended age level for a toy is determined by safety factors, not intelligence or maturity.
  2. Think big. Make sure all toys and parts are larger than the child’s mouth to prevent choking.
  3. Avoid toys that shoot objects into the air. These toys, even those made of a soft material, can cause serious eye injuries or choking hazards.
  4. Avoid loud toys. Often a toy that plays music or talks is about 85 decibels, which is as loud as a lawn mower and can damage a child’s hearing, especially if a child holds the toy close to their ear.  
  5. Consider online safety. Toys with cameras and recording capabilities can store data in an unsecured mobile app, causing privacy concerns. Be sure to monitor these apps and toys and make settings private if possible.
  6. Buy plastic toys that are sturdy. Toys made from thin plastic may easily break into sharp pieces.
  7. Avoid hobby kits and chemistry sets for children younger than age 12. These kits can cause fires or explosions and may contain dangerous chemicals.
  8. Look for “UL Approved” labels. This label on an electronic toy indicates it meets industry safety standards.
  9. Be aware of toys with small batteries or magnets. Children may be tempted to put these objects in their mouth, nose or ears which can cause a choking hazard, an injury or accidental poisoning.
  10. Prevent head injuries. Purchase a helmet to prevent serious head injuries if you buy a toy with wheels such as a bicycle, tricycle, skateboard or scooter.

For more details and tips regarding toy safety, please visit:


About HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital
HSHS Sacred Heart Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1889, it has been meeting patient needs in western Wisconsin with the latest medical innovations and technology, together with a Franciscan whole-person healing tradition.

About HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital
HSHS St. Joseph’s Hospital is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries, the Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the Founding Institute, and it is an affiliate of Hospital Sisters Health System. Since 1885, it has served the people of the Chippewa Falls area with health care that is high tech and high touch. Known locally for the quality of the care it provides patients, the hospital has been recognized nationally for its outstanding patient satisfaction levels. 

About Hospital Sisters Health System
Hospital Sisters Health System’s (HSHS) mission is to reveal and embody Christ’s healing love for all people through our high quality, Franciscan health care ministry. HSHS provides state-of-the-art health care to our patients and is dedicated to serving all people, especially the most vulnerable, at each of our physician practices and 15 local hospitals in two states - Illinois (Breese, Decatur, Effingham, Greenville, Highland, Litchfield, O’Fallon, Shelbyville and Springfield) and Wisconsin (Chippewa Falls, Eau Claire, Oconto Falls, Sheboygan, and two in Green Bay). HSHS is sponsored by Hospital Sisters Ministries,  and Hospital Sisters of St. Francis is the founding institute. For more information about HSHS, visit For more information about Hospital Sisters of St. Francis, visit

Check children’s holiday toy list twice before purchasing gifts
Media Contact

Karen Kraus

Communications Department HSHS Wisconsin