If you didn’t take advantage of this year’s Black Friday deals, you might still be hunting for that perfect toy. As you shop for children, friends or grandchildren, keep in mind many toys have safety considerations. From small parts and sharp edges to lead-based paint and age-inappropriate items, some games and toys are best left ungifted. Before sharing the toy-joy this season, do your research and choose what is developmentally appropriate.
Don’t fall prey to clever marketing while you’re shopping for children. Keep in mind a recipient’s personality, interests and age—and only gift toys that will be used correctly and with proper supervision.
Important Toy Safety Tips
Consider the age. Toy age ranges are generally determined by part size and difficulty of use. Take recommended age ranges into account before purchasing, and discuss concerns with a child’s parent if you are unsure of a toy’s appropriateness.
Investigate online. If the Easy-Bake Oven taught us anything, it’s that some toys don’t deliver on their promises. Check Fakespot.com to get vetted customer reviews from Amazon and other retail sites. Stay updated about safety recalls, too. Lead paint, choking hazards and bent bicycle crank arms have all led to recalls in recent years. Websites like the Consumer Product Safety Commission showcase the latest safety recalls.
Think safety accessories. Remember that epic bike accident you had as a kid? While scrapes and bruises are part of growing up, helmets and wrist/knee pads can prevent more significant injuries. When gifting toys that move fast or put kids at risk for impact, give the recipient accompanying safety equipment. Always buy high-quality helmets and gear that fits. Reputable organizations like Consumer Reports and companies like REI provide comprehensive information about fitting helmets and similar safety gear.
Stress Less This Holiday Season
Commercials and Hallmark movies portray scenes filled with fresh-baked cookies and warm hugs, but realistically—the holidays can be taxing. Whether it’s the stress of houseguests, strained family relationships, gift-giving pressure or a never-ending to-do list, holiday anxiety may get the best of you if you don’t invest in self-care and time management.
Tips like these can help you get the most out of the busiest time of year.
Get outdoors (or at least out of the house). Choose sunny days when wind is minimal and bundle up for a quick walk around the block. Even short periods of outdoor time brighten your day and give you a therapeutic dose of vitamin D. If the weather is miserable, walk the mall, go bowling or spend time at a friend’s house. A change of venue keeps cabin fever and holiday blues from creeping in when you least expect them.
Keep your schedule. The holidays are about being flexible—but try to keep a sense of routine when you can. Schedule regular workouts, family time and housework. Habits keep us grounded and prevent days from feeling out of control.
Under-plan. No one wants to cook holiday dinner, wrap 100 gifts and clean the house—all in a single day. To avoid feeling overprogrammed this season, under-plan your days and say “no” when necessary. As events push their way into your schedule, leave at least one hour a day for rest, quiet and recuperation. This is especially important for introverts since holiday socializing can feel emotionally draining.
Spend one-on-one time with family and friends. Many of us feel out of place mingling at big family events or holiday parties. To enjoy family time without the pressure, make holiday visits early. Ask a friend to coffee before the party, then go together so you have someone to talk to while you’re there. Surprise Grandma with an early holiday visit or help her bake Christmas cookies before the big event.
Spend time on someone else. Charitable acts are proven to make people happier. Serving and loving others gives us a sense of fulfillment, so take time to volunteer at a local church or soup kitchen, donate toys and food to a NJ homeless shelter, or make thank-you cards for deployed troops. Take time to help those less fortunate than you—and spread the warmth this winter.
Maglio Electric Makes Winter Maintenance Easy
Winter home maintenance may be the last thing on your list this holiday season, but your family’s safety depends on it. To help, Maglio Electric offers winter electrical inspections, generator set-up and checkups, lighting installation, code upgrades and more. Our trained professionals are here to help you enjoy the holidays in a cozy, well-lit home. We’re New Jersey’s most reliable electrical contractor, and we’re ready to make your holiday a little brighter. Call 908.735.6218 to schedule a service call!
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