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December 30, 2009 > FIRST 5 holiday toy safety precautions

FIRST 5 holiday toy safety precautions

Submitted By Dawn Bussey

The holidays are here. All children enjoy the holiday spirit. Here are some tips from FIRST 5 Santa Clara County to help you celebrate the holidays with your child and bring laughter and joy to every child.

Children have a natural love for music and many songs are deep-rooted in our everyday culture. While music is enjoyable and fun, extensive research also shows that exposing children to music stimulates their overall intelligence and emotional development. Having children listen to different types of music also nurtures their self-esteem while encouraging creativity, self-confidence and curiosity.

Sweets and high fatty foods are common during the holiday season. However, you can create a holiday that serves up healthful foods without sacrificing the taste. FIRST 5 provides the following simple food substitutions for preparing healthier dishes this holiday season and beyond. Instead of Whole milk, Oil for baking, Oil or butter for sautˇing, White bread or rolls, Butter to moisten meat and potatoes, try 1% or skim milk, Plain applesauce, Cooking spray, two Egg whites, Whole wheat bread or rolls, Chicken broth

It is easy to get carried away with buying all sorts of toys for your little loved ones. During your shopping it is important to consider the safety of your child's gift as well as whether the gift is for the right age and developmental stage of your child. FIRST 5 Santa Clara County offers the following toy safety precautions. Look for the "recommended label" sticker on toys to be sure a toy is appropriate for your child. Toys should be bigger than a child's mouth to avoid choking. Try the "toilet paper roll" test if a toy fits inside the roll, it's too small and unsafe. Older toys may be worn or falling apart. Check for buttons, batteries, ribbons and plastic that can be chewed or snapped off. Strings longer than 12 inches can wrap around a child's neck. Remove strings and straps such as toy guitar straps, necklaces or ribbons before giving them to young children. Magnets may fall out of toys and can be swallowed. Keep toys with magnets away from kids 5 and under. For more information about holiday safety call (408) 260-3700 or visit www.first5kids.org. Remember, the most important and valuable gift of all is spending time together with your child. Happy Holidays!

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